16 de abril de 2015 / 10:34 / en 3 años

Media stocks drag down European equities from highs

* FTSEurofirst down 0.2 pct, retreats from 2000 highs

* Pearson leads media stocks lower

* Casino, Unilever, Diageo down

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - European equities retreated from a 14-year high on Thursday, with media stocks leading the market lower after Pearson fell sharply following troubles with one of its educational technology projects.

The STOXX Europe Media index dropped 1.3 percent, the top sectoral decliner, dragged down by a 3.6 percent fall in Pearson after a report saying the Los Angeles Unified School District was seeking a refund from Apple over a bungled $1.3 billion iPad plan with curriculum from Pearson.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.6 percent at 1,640.92 points by 1009 GMT. Around Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 index was down 0.3 percent and Germany’s DAX index fell 1.2 percent.

Greece’s ATG fell 0.8 percent as the Financial Times reported the International Monetary Fund had rebuffed a request from the country to delay loan repayments.

“European markets are digesting continuing worries about Greece and its potential inability to tread water for much longer,” Augustin Eden, analyst at Accendo Markets, said.

The market also came under pressure after some discouraging broker comments and company updates hit individual stocks.

French retailer Casino fell 5 percent, the top faller in the FTSEurofirst 300 index, after both Societe Generale and Natixis cut their target prices for the stock a day after the company reported slower sales growth.

Diageo, the world’s largest spirits maker, fell 2.2 percent after saying net sales in the three months to March 31, the third quarter of its financial year, fell 0.7 percent, while Ipsen fell 3.3 percent after the pharmaceutical firm said it was discontinuing the development of its prostate cancer drug Tasquinimod.

Bucking the trend, CNH Industrial rose 4 percent after Goldman Sachs raised its price target for the stock to $8.50 from $6.80, while Unilever was up 3 percent after reporting better-than-expected sales for the first quarter. SABMiller gained 2 percent after reporting a marginal rise in full-year beverage sales volumes.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index gained 0.6 percent on Wednesday to reach levels not seen since 2000 with the European Central Bank saying it remained committed to its full asset-buying programme to revive the euro zone economy.

“We were quite happy with (ECB President) Mario Draghi’s press conference. He didn’t announce anything new, but he gave answers to two big questions: there won’t be a shortage of bonds to buy, and he quashed worries that the central cank could scale down QE sooner than planned,” Mirabaud Securities’ senior equity sales trader John Plassard said. (Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson in Paris)

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