European Stocks Open Lower as Food Stocks Fall on Kraft Heinz

(Bloomberg) -- European equities opened in the red as food and beverage shares, including AB InBev, fell after Kraft Heinz’s earnings missed estimates.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was down 0.1 percent. Elekta tumbled as much as 13 percent after cutting its full-year Ebita margin forecast. AB InBev was down 2 percent and RBC had predicted the share price weakness due to its “shared DNA” with Kraft Heinz, after the U.S. company’s disappointing full-year results and an SEC investigation.

Traders are bracing for an event-packed Friday as U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with China’s top trade negotiator in Washington, with the two sides facing a March 1 deadline to avoid a further escalation in tariffs, and a speech by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

“Investors and traders seem to be looking for any glimmer of movement with the discussions between U.S. and China,” said David Marcus, the chief investment officer of Evermore Global Advisors LLC, which manages about $1.1 billion in assets.“The markets generally are starting to build in expectations of a near-term settlement to the trade war. This has propelled the markets higher in spite of the very mixed earnings announcements that have been reported over the last few weeks.”

European Stocks Open Lower as Food Stocks Fall on Kraft Heinz

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