European shares retreat from 2-week high on disappointing earnings

jueves 18 de febrero de 2016 05:55 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 index edges lower

* Nestle falls after disappointing results

* AccorHotels gains after beating forecast

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) - European equities slipped after climbing to a two-week high earlier on Thursday, with some disappointing company results and weaker miners putting pressure on the market.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was 0.5 percent lower at 1,288.74 points by 0851 GMT after rising to 1,298.16, its highest level since Feb. 5. It had ended 2.7 percent stronger on Wednesday following a rally in oil prices.

Food group Nestle dropped 4 percent, the heaviest faller in the FTSEurofirst index, after saying it expected softer pricing in 2016 and growth in line with last year as full-year organic growth of 4.2 percent fell short of expectations.

"It's a difficult environment for European companies as a meagre growth rate in emerging markets is not helping. Profit margins are under pressure as companies are not able to raise prices, while productivity is edging lower," said Koen De Leus, senior economist at KBC in Brussels.

About half of the companies in the STOXX Europe 600 index have reported results so far, of which 53 percent have met or beaten analysts' forecasts and the rest have missed. The fourth-quarter earnings have fallen 15 percent from the same quarter of the previous year, Thomson Reuters StarMine shows.   Continuación...