10 de diciembre de 2014 / 17:53 / hace 3 años

European shares extend sell-off, Airbus plunges

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.4 pct, adding to sharp 2-day drop

* $280 bln in market value of oil shares wiped off since June

* Greek stocks extend sell-off on political uncertainty

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Dec 10 (Reuters) - European stocks fell for a third session in a row on Wednesday as a further plunge in crude prices knocked down the shares of oil majors and oil services groups such as Royal Dutch Shell and Fugro.

Airbus shares also featured among the top losers after the aircraft manufacturing group’s new profit outlook disappointed investors and the firm said the first delivery of the new A350 had been postponed and no new date had been set.

The stock tumbled 10.4 percent - its biggest one-day drop in more than six years - representing a wipeout in the company’s market value of 3.9 billion euros ($4.8 billion), roughly the price of a dozen Airbus A380 jumbo jets.

Shares in Shell dropped 2.4 percent and Fugro tumbled 11 percent as Brent crude oil fell below $65 a barrel on mounting signs of oversupply and lacklustre demand as global economic growth falters.

In its monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) forecast demand for the group’s oil will drop to 28.92 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2015, down 280,000 bpd from its previous expectation.

“Crude oil is under punishment today once again on the back of the OPEC news. OPEC has cut its demand forecast for next year and this has unbalanced the demand and supply equation further and traders are not liking the sound of this at all,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade.

Other oil services companies took a beating, with Saipem and Afren losing 5.2 and 6.9 percent respectively.

Brent has plummeted 44 percent since June, forcing a number of oil services companies, including Fugro and Seadrill , to scrap dividends as oil majors accelerate cost-cutting efforts.

The STOXX oil and gas index, home of bellwethers such as BP, Total and Eni, has tumbled 27 percent since June. The sell-off has wiped $280 billion off market capitalisation of the sector, nearly the size of Israel’s GDP.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.4 percent lower at 1,357.21 points. The index has tumbled 3.4 percent so far this week.

However, many fund managers and analysts think that lower oil prices will be positive overall for the equity market in the medium term.

“This is a change in paradigm in terms of energy prices with implications on economic growth and investments. The impact on countries that are net importers and the ones that are net exporters will be quite different,” said Jean Boivin, deputy chief investment strategist at the BlackRock Investment Institute, who has a positive bias on European equities.

Greek shares also featured among the top losers. Athens’ benchmark ATG share index fell 1 percent, adding to a 13 percent slump on Tuesday after the government brought forward a vote on a new president, raising the risk of snap elections if the government fails to garner enough support for its presidential candidate.

Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v

Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v

Today’s European research round-up

Additional reporting by Alexandre Boksenbaum-Granier in Paris; Editing by Susan Fenton

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