(ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development. See the bottom of the report for more details) Updates prices)
* FTSEurofirst 300 index drops 0.7 percent
* JC Decaux slumps as brokers cut estimates on stock
* Raiffeisen drops as merger plan unsettles some investors
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) - European shares slipped on Wednesday as some weak earnings pushed the market lower after two previous days of gains.
Outdoor advertising group JC Decaux was among the worst performers.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index and the European STOXX 600 index were both down by around 0.7 percent by 1038 GMT.
JC Decaux slumped 7.8 percent. A weak second-quarter outlook issued by the company caused several investment banks to cut their ratings and price targets on the stock.
Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank also dropped by 8.6 percent on concerns over the company’s plans to merge with its unlisted parent company Raiffeisen Zentralbank.
However, shares in Norwegian publishing company Schibsted surged 12.5 percent after the company reported first-quarter core earnings above expectations.
Thomson Reuters StarMine data shows that 60 percent of companies on the STOXX 600 index have met or beaten forecasts with their quarterly earnings so far. Many of them have done so by cutting costs in order to offset falling revenues.
“I‘m still in the bearish camp, and I think that any rallies on the market are for selling. Some company results have beaten expectations, but you have to remember by just how much some of these expectations had already been lowered,” said Terry Torrison, managing director at Monaco-based McLaren Securities.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index is down by nearly 10 percent so far in 2016, with world stock markets having been hit by concerns about a China-led global economic slowdown.
Shares in Banco Popolare fell more than 14 percent to a fresh all time low after the Italian bank reported last night a surprise first quarter loss due to loan writedowns.
Today’s European research round-up
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Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan