- The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down around 0.25% shortly after the opening bell, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.
- Credit Suisse reported an increase in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday, beating analyst expectations. Shares of the lender rose more than 3%.
- Investors are also likely to closely monitor the latest quarterly figures from Heineken, Michelin and Akzo Nobel Wednesday morning.
European stocks were slightly lower Wednesday morning, as market participants monitored the latest flurry of corporate results.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down around 0.25% shortly after the opening bell, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.
Europe’s autos stocks led the losses during early morning deals, down nearly 2% 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. Continental, Pirelli and Renault all slipped around 2% 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 3%.
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 to the bottom of the benchmark 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 over 6%.
Market focus is largely attuned to earnings season, after better-than-feared figures from major companies on Wall Street helped the Nasdaq and S&P 500 indexes reach record closing highs overnight.
Equity markets also received support from rising energy shares on Tuesday, after international benchmark Brent crude jumped to its highest level since Nov. 1.
Oil prices soared after the U.S. announced the end of six months of waivers that allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers to continue importing limited volumes of Iranian oil.