European equities pulled lower Thursday, with German industrial heavyweight Siemens AG among the market's decliners, but stock in Italian lender UniCredit SpA was a bright spot in the struggling banking group.
The Stoxx Europe 600 was off 0.3% to 377.58. No sector traded higher, and oil and gas and telecom shares were putting in the worst performance.
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More earnings reports rolled in Thursday. Among notable movers, shares of Finnish oil refiner Neste Corp. (NESTE.HE) sank 7.7% as the company's first-half operating profit of EUR236 million fell from EUR282 million a year ago. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected EUR244 million in operating profit.
On the top end of the Stoxx 600, Next PLC shares (NXT.LN) leapt 10% and were on track for their best session since January 2009, according to FactSet data. The clothing and home furnishings retailer raised the lower end of its full-year sales guidance (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/next-sales-rise-lifts-lower-end-of-guidance-2017-08-03) after an increase in the second quarter.
The pan-European benchmark may log its second consecutive decline Thursday, as it fell by 0.4% on Wednesday. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-struggle-as-oil-and-bank-shares-are-dragged-down-2017-08-02)
"We expect a tactical pullback to 360 on the Stoxx 600," said Deutsche Bank's European equity strategists in a research note Thursday, pointing out that regional stocks have fallen by nearly 5% from their mid-May peak of 396.
"We think this pullback has further to go, as euro area PMIs fade from elevated levels and a strong euro weighs on European earnings. Our tactical Stoxx 600 model points to a local trough of around 360 by late October (around 5% below current levels)," the strategists led by Sebastian Raedler wrote.
Stock movers: Siemens AG (SIE.XE) (SIE.XE) shares fell 3.1% as the company said new orders fell in the third quarter (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/siemens-profit-up-beating-views-new-orders-fall-2017-08-03). Net profit rose to EUR1.46 billion euros ($1.73 billion), above a Dow Jones Newswires consensus estimate of EUR1.36 billion.
UniCredit (UCG.MI) shares drove up 4.5% as Italy's largest bank by assets said second-quarter net profit rose to 945 million euros (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/unicredit-profit-edges-up-on-higher-fees-2017-08-03-24853246)($1.1 billion), aided by higher fees and commissions as well as lower provisions for bad loans.
ConvaTec Group PLC (CTEC.LN) shares slid 8.4% after the medical technology maker's first-half operating profit fell to $193.5 million from $209 million a year ago. The company said its Chief Financial Officer Nigel Clerkin will leave (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/convatec-swings-to-profit-names-cfo-designate-2017-08-03), but will continue as a director and CFO until Oct. 31.
Cobham PLC (COB.LN) tacked on 6.6% as the British defense supplier kept its full-year outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cobham-swings-to-profit-backs-2017-outlook-2017-08-03) and said it traded in line with expectations in the first half of the year as it swung to profit.
Inmarsat PLC (ISAT.LN) fell 3.3%, with the satellite operator's second-quarter net profit falling to $43.6 million amid tough trading in some markets.
Bank of England: Investors were waiting for the BOE's "Super Thursday" trio of releases: its interest rate decision, August Inflation Report and minutes from monetary policy makers' meeting. The reports are expected to be released at 12 p.m. London time, or 7 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by a press conference with BOE Governor Mark Carney at 12:30 p.m.
The pound bought $1.3257 ahead of the event (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pound-climbs-as-traders-wait-for-boes-super-thursday-2017-08-03), up from $1.3224 in late Wednesday's trade in New York.
Read:Confusion reigns for investors ahead of Bank of England's 'Super Thursday' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/confusion-reigns-for-investors-ahead-of-bank-of-englands-super-thursday-2017-08-01)
National indexes: France's CAC 40 index fell 0.3% to 5,090.12, and Germany's DAX 30 fell 0.6% to 12,107.75.
The U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.2% to 7,397.05, and Spain's IBEX 35 fell 0.9% to 10,419.50.
The euro fetched $1.1836, down from $1.1857 late Wednesday in New York.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 03, 2017 05:19 ET (09:19 GMT)