Shares in Europe start lower, gold drops

Wednesday, 24. February 2016 10:02

Stock markets started the session on Wednesday in retreat, following a set of generally stronger corporate earnings. Yesterday's plunge in oil prices was set to continue, the euro fell compared to the dollar and the pound intensified its slide versus the greenback.

The FTSE 100 was 0.65% in the red at 9:38 a.m. CET, with biggest losses registered in the materials sector, namely Glencore, BHP Billiton and Anglo American, followed by Standard Chartered. All lost around 4%. London Stock Exchange Group Plc was 0.5% ahead after yesterday it confirmed media reports about merger talks with Deutsche Börse AG. The DAX dropped 0.81% at 9:51 a.m. CET. Fresenius shed 1.5% after posting a rise in quarterly net income by a third on sales which advanced 11%. The healthcare group set an ambitious goal to drive profits up to 12% higher this year. Deutsche Bank, Infineon, Daimler and BMW joined Fresenius at the bottom of the performances list, all between 1.3 and 2% under the flatline. 

In Paris, benchmark index CAC 40 shed 0.46% at 9:51 a.m. CET. The decrease was partly offset by jumps in the market value of Peugeot and Bouygues. The French car manufacturer doubled yearly net income on stronger revenue. Telecom company Buoygues posted a sales drop and smaller profit than in 2015, but on improved operating income. Airbus achieved a rise in yearly revenue, remained firm on the outlook and increased the dividend. Its shares fell 0.2%. Credit Agricole and Lafarge weighed on the index, both sinking over 2%.

Swiss market's SMI shrunk 1.38% at 9:42 a.m. CET, following the release of UBS Consumption Indicator. The measure rose 0.05 points to 1.66 last month. Gold fell 0.39% to $1,225.68 per ounce at 10:00 a.m. CET. The euro was 0.2% down compared to the dollar. The pound fell 0.34% to $1.3969. 

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