Europe Stocks Open Steady as Banks Slide on BNP Paribas Earnings

(Bloomberg) -- European equities opened little changed, with banking shares falling, as investors continued watching the latest company results as a barometer of economic growth.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was down 0.1 percent. Daimler AG dropped 1.1 percent as earnings declined in all divisions during 2018 except heavy trucks and said it expects a “slight” profit gain this year. ING Groep NV surged 3.2 percent on higher profit and improved efficiency while BNP Paribas SA fell after lowering its forecasts. Uniper SE added 2.8 percent after announcing that its Chief Executive Officer will step down from the German energy company.

European stocks have had a buoyant start to the year and are closing in on the rally in U.S. stocks as a softer U.S. Federal Reserve and trade optimism boosts the market. Barclays Plc strategists said in a note that the European stock rally is looking “tired” but that some upside remains. Further clues on what 2019 holds may come Wednesday from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s first public comments following the January meeting and interest-rate decision.

“European stocks is one of the best places to be today precisely because everybody hates it,” said David Marcus, the chief investment officer of Evermore Global Advisors LLC, which manages about $1.1 billion in assets. “The headlines are bad: Brexit, Italy, Germany, but in a crisis, you get your opportunities. From a special situations perspective of major corporate changes, it’s the best place to be.”

Europe Stocks Open Steady as Banks Slide on BNP Paribas Earnings

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