Bloomberg News

European Stocks Little Changed Amid Growth Concern

August 27, 2012

European stocks were little changed, following last week’s selloff for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, after a report showed that Chinese industrial companies’ profits dropped last month. U.S. index futures were also little changed, while Asian shares declined.

Q-Cells SE (QCE) surged 33 percent after South Korea’s Hanwha Group signed a deal to acquire the insolvent German producer of solar cells. Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) jumped 7 percent after a jury found that Samsung Electronics Co. had violated Apple Inc. patents.

The Stoxx 600 retreated less than 0.1 percent to 267.96 at 8:16 a.m. in London. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring in September rose 0.1 percent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) fell 0.4 percent. Volumes in Europe may be subdued as the U.K. market is closed for a bank holiday.

China’s Premier Wen Jiabao has urged extra measures to support exports and help meet economic targets as a release today showed that industrial companies’ profits fell, adding to evidence that the nation’s slowdown is deepening.

“The third quarter is a crucial period for realizing full- year targets on export growth,” Wen said during an inspection tour of Guangdong, the nation’s biggest exporting province, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Aug. 25. Industrial profits fell 5.4 percent in July from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today.

The Stoxx 600 lost 1.8 percent last week amid renewed concern about the euro area’s debt crisis as Germany damped optimism that Greece will get more time to cut its debt and as data from China to Japan added to concern about slowing global growth. The gauge has still risen 15 percent from this year’s low on June 4 amid speculation policy makers will add more stimulus to spur growth.

Jackson Hole

Investors are awaiting a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Aug. 31 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. His speech in 2010 preceded a second round of bond purchasing, or quantitative easing, to help support the economic recovery.

Bernanke said in a letter to Californian Republican Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, released late last week that “there is scope for further action by the Federal Reserve.”

Q-Cells soared 33 percent to 22.6 euro cents in Frankfurt after Hanwha agreed to buy the company which filed for insolvency in April. Hanwha and Q-Cell’s insolvency administrator Henning Schorisch signed a deal yesterday. Hanwha will assume “business liabilities in the low hundreds of millions” and a cash purchase price “in the medium double- digit million euro range.”

Q-Cells Deal

Spain’s Isofoton SA had said it would bid for Q-Cells at the beginning of this week.

Q-Cells surged 33 percent on Aug. 24 following a media report that Hanwha would buy the company.

Nokia, which is looking to increase U.S. sales of smart phones, jumped 7 percent to 2.67 euros amid speculation the company may get a much-needed boost as Samsung’s products face a possible ban. Samsung plummeted after a U.S. court on Aug. 24 ruled the world’s biggest handset maker infringed six of seven patents. A ban may undermine Samsung’s grip on the smartphone market and set a precedent for rival handset makers that use Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Jones in London at sjones35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net


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