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Weak bank results lead European stocks lower
November 3, 2015 / 12:47 PM / 2 years ago

Weak bank results lead European stocks lower

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.2 percent

* StanChart and UBS shares slump after results

* Shell and BG shares rise

* VW falls as emissions scandal widens (Recasts, adds quote)

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Nov 3 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on Tuesday, with banks falling after weak earnings from Standard Chartered and UBS dampened sentiment in the sector.

Standard Chartered slid 9 percent after it announced plans to raise $5.1 billion in new capital through a rights issue and cut 15,000 jobs by 2018 as new Chief Executive Bill Winters tries to restore profitability at the bank, which has been hit by a slowdown in emerging markets.

Analysts at Investec described the loss as “awful”, given that consensus estimates were for a 903 million pound profit.

“As we feared, the worst aspect... is a broad-based collapse in revenues,” analysts at Investec said in a note. “Standard Chartered has already been the worst performing FTSE 100 bank in 2015 year-to-date, but we expect it to see further significant underperformance in the aftermath of today’s Q3 2015 results.”

Shares in UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, fell 5.4 percent. UBS posted a bigger than anticipated year-on-year rise in third quarter net profit, but watered down its full-year targets.

Some analysts expressed concerns over a lower than expected capital ratio and the fact that results had been flattered by a tax benefit.

In all, the STOXX Europe 600 Banking sector was down 1.4 percent, among the top sectoral fallers.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index and the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index declined by 0.2 and 0.4 percent respectively.

VW shares fell 3 percent after an emissions scandal that has beset the German company widened to include its luxury brands Porsche and Audi.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said late on Monday it was now also looking at 3.0-liter V6 diesel engines. Volkswagen took issue with the findings, saying “no software has been installed” in such engines “to alter emissions characteristics in a forbidden manner.”

Some traders and analysts said they would still avoid VW shares while the issue remained unresolved, with Credit Suisse keeping an “underperform” rating.

“I would steer clear of any rebound in VW shares until the dust settles. At the moment, trading VW is like trying to catch a falling knife,” said Mirabaud Securities’ Rupert Baker.

Among risers, Shell forecast higher savings from its planned takeover of BG, boosting shares in both energy groups , while Swiss travel retailer Dufry climbed 5 percent after reporting higher sales and profits.

Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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