corporate earnings, economic data in focus
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was flat during morning trade, with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions.
Europe’s auto stocks were among the worst performers Wednesday morning, down almost 1% after Nissan slashed its full-year profit forecast to a near-decade low. The Japanese automaker said Wednesday it now expects operating profit for the year ended March to drop 45% versus a year earlier to 318 billion yen ($2.84 billion) — that’s down from a previous forecast of 450 billion yen. Fiat Chrysler, Valeo and Renault all slipped more than 1% on the news.
Looking at individual stocks, Credit Suisse reported an increase in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday, beating analyst expectations. Switzerland’s second-biggest bank reported a net income of 749 million Swiss francs ($733.93 million) for the first quarter of this year, an 8% increase year-on-year. Shares of the lender rose more than 2%.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Wirecard surged to the top of the European benchmark after Japan’s Softbank Group said it would buy a 5.6% stake in the company for around 900 million euros ($1 billion). Shares of the Munich-based firm jumped 8%.
France’s Biomerieux tumbled toward the bottom of the European index Wednesday morning. It comes after the Paris-listed stock reported a moderate growth rate over the first three months of the year and confirmed its annual objectives. Shares of the company were down nearly 6%.