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UPDATE 2-European shares end lower as oil, tech losses offset earnings boost

Stock MarketsMay 07, 2021 00:30
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© Reuters.

* Eurozone banks come off 14-month high
* Food and beverage sector top performer in Europe
* BoE starts tapering bond purchases, FTSE at over 14-month

(Updates to market close)
By Sruthi Shankar and Ambar Warrick
May 6 (Reuters) - European stocks edged lower on Thursday,
with the travel sector leading declines on weak results from
Britain's Trainline, while food and beverage stocks hit a
14-month high on a batch of strong earnings.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX closed 0.1%
lower. The travel and leisure sector .SXTP was the worst
performer, falling 1.7% after UK rail operator Trainline
TRNT.L reported an annual loss. Heavyweight oil stocks .SXEP were among the top drags on
the STOXX 600 as oil prices slipped, while technology shares
.SX8P fell in tandem with their U.S. peers. .N
Investors also appeared to be spooked by the Bank of England
slowing the pace of its trillion dollar bond-purchasing
programme, although it stressed that the decision was not a
change in the stance of monetary policy. Still, the prospect of policy tightening by major central
banks has rattled markets this year, on fears that a
bigger-than-expected rise in inflation could push up interest
rates sooner than expected.
"For now, the Bank is taking a leaf out of the Federal
Reserve's book, offering a fairly vague signal that tightening
won't come until the recovery has made significant progress",
ING analysts wrote in a note.
"However in the not-too-distant future, we expect the Bank
will offer further details on how it might reduce its gilt
holdings alongside future rate hikes."
Still, the bank's optimistic view on a British economic
recovery pushed the FTSE 100 .FTSE 0.5% higher to a more than
14-month peak.
More than half of the STOXX 600 companies have reported
earnings so far and 73% of those have topped profit
expectations, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Food and beverage stocks .SX3P were the best performers
for the day, pushed up by a 5.2% rise in Anheuser-Busch InBev
ABI.BR after it reported first-quarter earnings ahead of
expectations and said North America boss Michel Doukeris will
replace Carlos Brito as chief executive officer. Irish food processing firm Glanbia GL9.I was the top
gainer in the sector, after its first-quarter revenue rose more
than 10%. Italy's No.2 bank UniCredit CRDI.MI gained 5% and French
lender Societe Generale SOGN.PA rose 5.5% after reporting
higher-than-expected quarterly earnings. Telecom Italia TLIT.MI slid 5.5% after a report suggesting
the government is set to drop a plan to create a single
broadband network. Healthcare stocks .SXDP fell 0.1%, with Frankfurt-listed
shares of U.S. drugmakers Novavax NVV1.F and Moderna 0QF.F
falling around 10% after U.S. President Joe Biden supported
waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines.

UPDATE 2-European shares end lower as oil, tech losses offset earnings boost

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