EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Clipped By Earnings Reports, Euro Strength

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

DAX declines as Bayer shares fall on outlook

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European stocks ended modestly lower Thursday as investors sent shares of German lender Deutsche Bank AG down and those for Anheuser-Busch InBev SA's and Diageo higher amid a barrage of corporate quarterly results.

The Stoxx Europe 600 closed down 0.1% at 382.32, but spent the session searching for firm direction, as did major national indexes. Basic material, industrial and consumer services shares led the way lower, but telecom, tech and utility stocks advanced.

Among notable stock moves Thursday, shares of AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.LN) (AZN.LN) sank 15% as the drug heavyweight said a Phase 3 clinical trial of its Mystic treatment for lung cancer failed to meet its primary endpoint (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/astrazenecas-mystic-cancer-drug-trial-fails-2017-07-27). Separately, AstraZeneca swung to a profit, but revenue fell (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/astrazeneca-swings-to-profit-as-revenue-falls-2017-07-27), in the second quarter

Deutsche Bank shares (DBK.XE) (DBK.XE) stumbled 6.5% as year-over-year revenue fell in all three business divisions (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/deutsche-bank-profit-up-but-revenue-broadly-falls-2017-07-27) at Germany's largest lender.

"Revenues were not as universally strong as we would have liked, in large measure because of muted client activity in many of the capital markets," Chief Executive John Cryan said in a statement.

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As earnings continued to roll in, the euro spent the bulk of the session holding around a two-year high above $1.17 against the U.S. dollar. The dollar had been broadly lower after the U.S. Federal Reserve late Wednesday struck what was seen as a somewhat cautious note on U.S. inflation (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-in-holding-pattern-as-investors-wait-for-feds-signals-on-policy-2017-07-26), which is bearish for the greenback.

A stronger euro can make goods produced by European exporters more expensive to purchase for overseas clients. But the widely watched Ifo Institute in Germany on Thursday (https://www.cesifo-group.de/ifoHome/facts/Survey-Results/Konjunkturtest/Exporterwartungen/Archiv/2017/Exporterwartungen-20170727.html) did note that German exporters were in "high spirits" in July even as the euro has appreciated in value recently.

The euro hit an intraday high of $1.1777 before being pulled back to $1.1650. Late Wednesday's settlement at $1.1735 in New York was the highest since January 2015, according to WSJ Market Data Group.

Stock movers: Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI.BT) drove higher by 5.7% as the world's largest brewer by sales posted a surge in quarterly profit to $1.5 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ab-inbev-profit-up-despite-drop-in-us-market-share-2017-07-27). But the maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois beer also said sales continued to decline in the U.S. and Brazil, its two largest markets.

Diageo PLC shares (DEO)(DEO) jumped 6% as the world's largest liquor maker, whose brands include Smirnoff vodka, raised its target for profit margin growth (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/diageo-full-year-earnings-lifted-by-currency-boost-2017-07-27) as it benefited from currency tailwinds and logged more sales.

Bayer AG (BAYN.XE) shares were knocked down 3% after the German pharmaceuticals and chemicals maker cut its full-year forecast (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bayer-profit-falls-full-year-guidance-lowered-2017-07-27)and posted an 11% drop in second-quarter net profit.

National indexes: Germany's DAX 30 dropped 0.8% to close at 12,212.04, its seventh loss in 10 sessions. France's CAC 40 index gave up 0.1% to end at 5,186.95.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gave up 0.1% to close at 7,443.01 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-steady-as-astrazeneca-plunges-diageo-surges-2017-07-27), but Spain's IBEX 35 moved up 0.3%, ending at 10,603.40.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 27, 2017 13:05 ET (17:05 GMT)