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Earnings boost for EU shares shortlived

Tuesday, July 29 09:43:10

European shares were unchanged on Tuesday, as encouraging corporate results were offset by the threat of economic fallout from more sanctions against Russia.

Parts maker GKN rose 6.5 percent as growth in its car business offset adverse currency effects. Telecom company Orange and UK-listed fashion retailer Next also rose after results.

However, carmaker Renault fell 3.2 percent. Its profits beat expectations, but cost-cutting helped to put a gloss on falling sales.

After 32 percent of companies reported results, 60 percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies have beaten or met expectations.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was steady at 1,369.12 points by 0812 GMT, giving up earlier gains as markets remained cautious about the situation in Ukraine.

BP rose 0.4 after posting a 34 percent increase in profit. But its gains were limited by the prospect of further sanctions on Russia, which it said "could have a material adverse impact" on its joint venture in the country.

European Union member states were expected to seek a final agreement on Tuesday to take stronger measures that would include closing the bloc's capital markets to Russian state banks.

On Monday, five Western leaders agreed to impose wider sanctions on Russia after a Malaysian airliner was shot down over territory held by pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine. Markets worried that the move will provoke economically damaging tit-for-tat measures from Moscow. (Reuters)

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