BT slump hits European, UK indexes; Generali rallies

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
BT slump hits European, UK indexes; Generali rallies
Credit: © Reuters.

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - European earnings season got off to a rocky start on Tuesday with profit warnings from BT Group BT.L and Aryzta ARYN.S sending their shares sharply lower, with weakness partly offset by gains in Italian financials and mining stocks.

Overall, the pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX was up 0.1 percent in early trading, while Britain's blue chip FTSE 100 .FTSE index was flat in percentage terms. Those moves masked a busy day for single stocks.

Shares in insurer Generali GASI.MI were the biggest gainers, up 8.3 percent after the insurer bought 3 percent of Intesa Sanpaolo 's ISP.MI share capital to fend off a reported takeover. Generali's biggest shareholder Mediobanca MDBI.MI gained 7.4 percent. basic resources .SXPP were the biggest sectoral risers, gaining on the back of a weaker dollar,

BT BT.L fell more than 16 percent after the telecoms firm cut forecasts for 2017 and 2018 after finding that inappropriate accounting behaviour in its Italian business went far deeper than previously thought. Tuesday's losses were poised to wipe out more than $8 billion off BT's market value. airline easyJet EZJ.L was another top faller, down 7.2 percent after reporting its first quarter earnings.

A miss in fourth quarter earnings also weighed on Philips PHG.AS , which dropped 3.3 percent. The medical equipment maker also disclosed a conflict with the U.S. government over defibrillators it sold in 2015 and before. UK Supreme Court's ruling later in the day on whether British Prime Minister Theresa May can start the Brexit process without parliamentary approval will likely set the tone for the rest of the trading day.

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