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European markets; earnings, US data, coronavirus, stocks in sight




European stocks were flat Thursday as investors digested profits from big names in the region, including Airbus, Barclays and Daimler.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered just above the flat line during morning trading, with core resources climbing 2.4% while banks slipped 0.8%.

Ahead of Thursday’s bell, Credit Suisse reported a net loss of 353 million Swiss francs ($ 392.8 million) for the fourth quarter of 2020 due to higher provisions. Credit Suisse shares fell 0.75%.

Barclays reported annual profit of 1.53 billion ($ 2.11 billion) for 2020, down 38% from 2019 but exceeding analysts’ expectations, thanks to a 22% increase in bank revenue investment. The stock of the British lender slipped 2% late in the morning.

Airbus restored its business targets after generating liquidity in the last quarter of 2020, but recorded a full-year operating loss of 510 million euros ($ 614.5 million), with basic operating income in 75% drop due to the pandemic. The share of the aircraft manufacturer fell 3.7%.

Investors also reacted to the results of Air France KLM, Orange, Carrefour, Bouygues, Valeo and EDF, Moncler and Nestlé. On the data front, final inflation data for the euro area in January is expected.

The focus will also be on key data from the United States on Thursday for the latest indications on the health of the nation’s economy. The first jobless claims are the number to watch, as economists polled by Dow Jones expect 773,000 new claims, down slightly from the week before.

Housing and manufacturing data is also expected to be released Thursday morning. US equity futures fell slightly on Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific stocks closed largely lower on Thursday, as mainland Chinese stocks resumed trading after a long Lunar New Year hiatus.

In terms of individual share prices, Swiss banking software company Temenos jumped more than 15% after announcing optimistic targets for 2025. Shares of Acciona climbed 9.4% after the Spanish company Energy and Engineering said it was considering parting with its renewable unit.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, German car battery maker Varta fell more than 13% after its earnings report.

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