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Market Update

European Markets Advance Despite Earnings Disappointments

Author: Lucy Stoeva
Last Update: 7:40 PM ET January 27 2016

4:00 PM Frankfurt – European markets recorded gains on Wednesday after a volatile trading session. Ericsson fell 6% despite reporting 67% growth in net profit. Novartis said fourth-quarter net profit tumbled 57% due to poor performance of its eye-care business. BASF wrote down €600 million in its oil and gas division.

European markets changed directions several times and staged a late recovery amid earnings disappointments in Europe.

The decision of the Federal Reserve on U.S. interest rates and the results of its two-day meeting are due later in the day.

A number of European companies posted disappointing quarterly results or trading updates, including Novartis, Ericsson, and BASF, while Deutsche Bank is scheduled to

Italy reached a deal with the European Commission for some of its bad loans, but investors remain skeptical on the cost.

Late in the day, Brent crude oil surged 3.71% to $32.98 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures gained 2.86% to $32.35 per barrel and recovered from earlier losses on the oversupply worries.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index gained 78.91 or 1.33% to 5,990.37 and in Frankfurt the DAX index added 58.07 or 0.59% to 9,880.82.

In Paris, CAC 40 index added 23.55 or 0.54% to 4,380.36.

BASF SE fell 1.82% to €60.95 after the German company reported a drop in profit as lower prices for oil and gas prices affected its energy business.

Earnings before interest and taxes plunged 18% to €6.2 billion in 2015 after the company took impairment charges of €600 million in its oil and gas division, reflecting the slide of oil prices to about $30 a barrel.

Revenues fell 5% to €70.4 billion from €74.3 billion in 2014.

Deutsche Bank AG inched down 0.1% to €17.10 ahead of its earnings release tomorrow.

Last week investors penalized the largest German bank after the financial institution said fourth-quarter revenues in investment banking declined as market conditions deteriorated.

Ericsson AB fell 6.03% to 77.15 Swedish kronor despite announcing significant growth in the fourth quarter.

The Swedish telecom equipment maker said sales grew 8% in the quarter to 73.6 billion kronor.

Net profit rose 67% to 7.06 billion Swedish kronor due to improvement of the company’s business in China.

Novartis AG tumbled 4.55% to €72.39 after the Swiss pharmaceutical company said its fourth-quarter net profit fell due to poor performance of its eye-care business and a stronger dollar.

Net profit for the quarter tumbled 57% from the previous year to $1.05 billion, while core income, excluding one-time costs, declined 5% to $2.7 billion.

The company reported earnings per share of $1.14 for the quarter, compared with $1.21 in the year ago period and $1.27 in the previous quarter.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc was little changed at 1,418 pence after 83% of its shareholders approved the $50 billion takeover of BG Group Plc.

Shareholders of BG will vote Thursday on the takeover and shares of the company jumped 1.42% to 1,009 pence ahead of the decision.

Chip makers ARM Holdings Plc and Dialog Semiconductor Plc lost about 2% each after their client Apple Inc. reported a slowdown in iPhone sales growth.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc