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Brewer InBev triggers retreat for European shares

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Brewer InBev triggers retreat for European shares
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, October 24, 2019. REUTERS/Staff   -   Copyright  STAFF(Reuters)
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By Agamoni Ghosh and Lisa Pauline Mattackal

(Reuters) – European shares fell for the first time this week on Friday, as a 10% slide in shares of brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev sent a shiver through investors worried about the outlook for growth and the prospect of months more wrangling over Brexit.

The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> dipped 0.2%, but was still on track to end a busy week of corporate earnings higher after a handful of industry heavyweights topped low market expectations.

The food and beverage sector <.SX3P> led losses on Friday, however, after Anheuser-Busch InBev <ABI.BR> came in below analysts’ forecasts for quarterly profit and cut its forecasts for improvement in its bottom line this year.

Shares of German telecoms operator 1&1 Drillisch <DRIG.DE> and its parent company United Internet <UTDI.DE> also tanked after the former’s request to review prices under an agreement with rival Telefonica Deutschland <O2Dn.DE> was rejected.

“Today’s moves seem to have trimmed some of the progress we have seen on the week,” said Ken Odeluga, an analyst with City Index in London.

“You have a mechanical effect from that 10% decline in AB InBev but you can’t really generalize. We may not see a stellar earnings season but with expectations so low there will be more beats for sure.”

On the bright side, France’s CAC 40 <.FCHI> outperformed as Gucci owner Kering <PRTP.PA> jumped 8%, while Italian jacket maker Moncler <MONC.MI> rose 7%. The companies joined other luxury labels in easing fears of a major third quarter sales hit from the protests in Hong Kong.

Limiting those gains was a 20% fall in shares of entertainment company Ubisoft <UBIP.PA>, which lost roughly a quarter of its value after cutting its 2020 earnings guidance.

Among banks, Spain’s Banco Sabadell <SABE.MC> and Britain’s Barclays <BARC.L> both rose after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.


London’s FTSE 100 <.FTSE>, Dublin stocks <.ISEQ> and the pound <GBP=> all edged lower, as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson conceded for the first time on Thursday that he could not meet his Oct. 31 Brexit deadline.

British housebuilders <.FTNMX3720>, which are considered among sectors most exposed to the domestic economy, dipped 0.3%in their fifth straight session of losses. [.L]

Investors now await the European Union’s response to a British request to delay Brexit again and a summit in Chile where U.S. President Donald Trump hopes to finalise a partial trade deal with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

(Reporting by Lisa Pauline Mattackal and Agamoni Ghosh; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Patrick Graham)

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