Mixed Earnings Rattle European Markets
European markets digest a mixed set of earnings and the UK construction industry loses steam. French bank Soc Gen reported a drop-in net profit of 28% thanks to litigation costs and low interest rates. Meanwhile, Germany’s Commerzbank posted a bigger than expected net loss in the second quarter. This was put down to restructuring charges and a weaker market environment.
Britain’s construction industry has grown at its weakest rate in 11 months. Output, orders and employment in the sector fell to 51.9 in July, from 54.8 in June according to the latest purchasing managers’ index for the sector.
British bank Standard Chartered reported a huge jump in pre-tax profit of $1.8bn from $963m a year earlier. But investors are said to be frustrated by the pace of the bank’s turnaround which would perhaps explain why the share price is down today. The company said it’s not ready to start paying dividends just yet though.
One company that is ready though is Rio Tinto. The Anglo-Australian miner declared the biggest interim dividend in its 144-year history today thanks to the gains in commodity prices. The miner also announced a $1bn share buyback.
--- Written by Katie Pilbeam, DailyFX
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