European Stocks Slip on Rate, Earnings Jitters

By Reuters
October 11, 2021 Updated: October 11, 2021

European stocks kicked off the week slightly lower on Monday as nerves around inflation and the upcoming earnings season offset surging commodity prices that supported oil and mining shares.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.4 percent in morning trading, with travel & leisure and real estate stocks the biggest decliners.

“There is still real concern about stagflation, with indications that prices are going to not be as transitory as central bankers first thought,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“It’s acting as a drag on the economic recovery.”

Brent crude jumped almost 2 percent as an energy crisis gripping major economies showed no sign of easing, while Dalian coking coal scaled a contract high after a recent flooding in China’s top coal-producing Shanxi province intensified supply fears.

Miners jumped 2.2 percent to lead gains among sectors, while oil & gas stocks added 0.8 percent.

While a heavy presence of commodity-related companies in European bourses helped limit losses, investors generally were anxious about rising raw material prices hurting corporate profits heading into the earnings season.

U.S. banks will kick off the reporting season on Wednesday, with investors anticipating a moderation in profit growth in third quarter compared with a surge in the previous quarter. Third-quarter profit growth is estimated to be up 29.6 percent for U.S. companies and 45.6 percent for European firms, according to Refinitiv IBES data, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The banking index touched its highest since February 2020, recovering almost all of its pandemic-induced losses as investors jacked up interest rate expectations. Money markets are fully pricing in a 10 basis-point rate hike from the European Central Bank by the end of next year.

British banks HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, and Natwest Group all rose about 1 percent after hawkish comments from Bank of England officials drove traders to ramp up bets of a November interest rate increase.

Among stocks, British online fashion retailer ASOS tumbled 9.8 percent after it warned that higher logistics costs and supply chain disruption could force 2022 profits to drop by more than 40 percent and said Chief Executive Nick Beighton will step down.

German real estate investor Adler Group slipped 0.6 percent after it agreed to sell residential and commercial property worth 1.49 billion euros ($1.73 billion) to rival LEG Immobilien.

By Sruthi Shankar