European shares inch higher; Sanofi drops again

miércoles 29 de octubre de 2014 05:20 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.1 pct
    * Fugro tumbles 21 pct after saying it won't pay dividend
    * STMicro drops after warning on revenue

    By Blaise Robinson
    PARIS, Oct 29 (Reuters) - European stocks inched higher
early on Wednesday, tracking sharp gains on Wall Street ahead of
a U.S. Federal Reserve policy announcement.
    At 0900 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was up 0.3 percent at 1,321.07 points, led by
miners including Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, up
0.9-1.1 percent and climbing along with metals prices.
    France's Schneider Electric rose 3.1 percent after
reporting a 7 percent rise in third-quarter sales and saying
Western Europe showed long-awaited but fragile signs of
    French pharma group Sanofi dropped 3.7 percent,
adding to the previous session's slump after its board said on
Wednesday it had decided to oust chief executive Chris
    "This creates more uncertainty just after the group
published results and outlook figures which were not
reassuring," a Paris-based trader said.
    Dutch marine services group Fugro sank 20 percent
after it warned that it will not pay a dividend over 2014 due to
deteriorating markets and price pressure on oil and gas
projects. The news knocked the shares of peers Saipem,
CGG and Subsea, down 1.8-4.4 percent.
    Europe's largest semiconductor company STMicroelectronics
 shed 7 percent after posting higher than expected
quarterly net profit but saying margins would be flat and
revenue would decline in the final quarter due to a softening
    Around Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 index was up 0.7
percent, Germany's DAX index up 0.7 percent, and
France's CAC 40 up 0.1 percent.
    When it concludes a two-day meeting on Wednesday, the Fed is
expected to announce the end of its bond-buying stimulus while
restating its willingness to wait before hiking interest rates,
which should reassure markets. 
    "All eyes are on the Fed, which is set to announce the end
of quantitative easing. Investors will certainly remain cautious
ahead of the statement," Barclays France fund manager Philippe
Cohen said.
    U.S. stocks rose more than 1 percent on Tuesday, with the
S&P 500 ending above its 50-day moving average for the
first time in almost a month, helped by strong quarterly results
from a number of blue-chips.
    About a third of companies listed on the STOXX Europe 600
 benchmark index have reported results so far in the
earnings season, with 67 percent of them meeting or beating
profit forecasts, and 59 percent meeting or beating revenue
forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data.
    In absolute terms, European companies have posted a 13.6
percent rise in quarterly earnings, and a 0.7 percent rise in
    Europe bourses in 2014:
    Asset performance in 2014:
    Today's European research round-up 

 (editing by John Stonestreet)