* FTSEurofirst 300 and Euro STOXX 50 down 0.3 pct
* BASF falls after cutting earnings guidance
* AMS, Dialog shares fall sharply
* Altice up as investors buy into Cablevision
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - European stock markets fell on Tuesday, moving further away from last week’s two-month high after a drop in the shares of BASF and Novartis weighed on markets.
Semiconductor stocks also suffered after Austria Microsystems warned late on Monday of weak fourth-quarter results. Austria Microsystems’ shares slid 9 percent while rival Dialog dropped 8 percent.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had risen to a two-month high on Friday after a Chinese rate cut drove up world stock markets, declined 0.3 percent, as did the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index.
BASF shares dropped by 4.7 percent after the chemicals group lowered its full-year earnings guidance due to weak sales in China, Brazil and other emerging markets.
Novartis fell 2.3 percent after it reported a fall in third-quarter core net income that missed analyst forecasts.
However, telecoms group Altice rose 3.5 percent after BCP and CPPIB said they would buy 30 percent of Cablevision alongside Altice.
Admiral Markets’ Darren Sinden said the underlying economic backdrop remained weak, with signs of a Chinese slowdown having knocked European stocks down off their earlier 2015 peaks.
“Companies are doing as best they can, but the underlying economic picture still looks weak,” Sinden said.
Twenty two percent companies in the STOXX Europe 600 index have announced results so far, of which 63 percent have met or beaten analysts’ earnings forecasts and the rest have missed, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data.
However, StarMine also shows that only 48 percent of companies have met or beaten revenue forecasts.
The FTSEurofirst is up around 8 percent since the start of 2015, but down 10 percent from its 2015 peak reached in April.
Today’s European research round-up