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European Shares Slip Amid Earnings Deluge

stockmarkets dec27 06may21 lt

European stocks edged lower on Thursday as investors reacted to a slew of earnings and economic reports.

The Bank of England publishes the outcome of its latest rate-setting committee meeting and economic forecasts later in the day, and it is likely that the central bank might start to slow its pandemic emergency support.

Earlier in the day, Norway's central bank retained its policy rate and reiterated that the rate will be hiked in the latter half of this year.

The pan European Stoxx 600 dropped half a percent to 439.29 after climbing 1.8 percent on Wednesday.

The German DAX slipped 0.4 percent and France's CAC 40 index eased 0.3 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was little changed.

Satellite operator SES jumped 8.5 percent after announcing a €100 million stock buyback.

Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev jumped 4.6 percent after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings.

Automaker Volkswagen dropped 3 percent, giving up earlier gains after raising its 2021 operating margin targets.

Similarly, online chain Zalando traded flat despite raising its outlook for the year.

Unicredit rallied 4.3 percent as the bank posted better-than-expected results for the first quarter, helped by strong trading and falling provisions.

Societe Generale shares surged 3.1 percent after the bank reported net income for the first quarter that handily beat expectations.

Airline Air France-KLM fell 2.3 after posting wider first-quarter operating loss and announcing it is considering raising more capital.

Aerospace company Thales rose 1.3 percent after reporting a rise in Q1 sales.

Superdry shares soared 17 percent. The clothing retailer said it has returned to revenue growth in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, boosted by its ecommerce division.

Retailer Next advanced 2.7 percent as it raised full-year profit forecasts for the second time in two months.

Paper and packaging firm Mondi lost 3.5 percent after an expected in first-quarter earnings.

In economic releases, Eurozone retail sales grew for the second straight month in March, but the pace of growth weakened from February, Eurostat reported.

Retail sales rose 2.7 percent in March from February, when volume was up 4.2 percent. However, the pace of growth exceeded the economists' forecast of 1.5 percent.

On a yearly basis, retail sales rebounded 12 percent, following a 1.5 percent drop in February. This was also faster than the 9.6 percent increase economists had forecast.

German factory orders growth accelerated more than expected in March, data from Destatis revealed.

Factory orders increased 3 percent month-on-month in March, faster than the revised 1.4 percent increase seen in February. Orders were expected to climb 1.7 percent.

On a yearly basis, new order growth increased sharply to 27.8 percent from 5.8 percent in the previous month.

The U.K. service sector grew at the fastest pace since October 2013, driven by sharp increases in business and consumer spending amid easing of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, final data from IHS Markit showed.

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply services business activity index advanced to 61.0 in April from 56.3 in March. The score was well above the flash estimate of 60.1.

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