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|15 October, 2018

LIVE MARKETS-Brexit Britain: finding quality on the cheap

FTSE 100 outperforms as pound weakens

Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: julien.ponthus.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net

BREXIT BRITAIN: FINDING QUALITY ON THE CHEAP (1033 GMT)

An established narrative around the British market sees domestically focused stocks negatively impacted by politics and macro risks associated with Brexit, whereas the big global names have been relatively insulated. And today's price action in the UK seems to reflect this, as stalling Brexit talks put pressure on the pound while supporting export-oriented stocks. 

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Beneath the surface, however, there are exceptions.

UBS has screened for high-quality domestic firms boasting an above-median EPS growth and where the PE has fallen more than the median, digging out three names: auto website Auto Trader , kitchens supplier Howden Joinery  and housebuilder Taylor Wimpey.

Inversely, they have spotted four international companies where quality has fallen, valuation has risen and earnings have lagged the basket: power generation equipment supplier Aggreko, insurer Hiscox, bank HSBC, chemicals group Johnson Mattheyand aerospace firm Meggitt.

(Danilo Masoni)

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"EXPENSIVE STOCKS ARE LIKELY TO HAVE A RECKONING" (0953 GMT)

That's what Bernstein analysts predict, and today's moves across Europe are reflecting that somewhat. Luxury stocks Kering and Moncler are tumbling again, and the more highly-valued consumer staples generally are weighing on indices.

Bernstein's quantitative team gives their take-aways from last week's shakeout:

* Most definitions of value outperformed

* Growth indicators have recently picked up, not fallen

* The correlation of bond yields and equity returns quietly became more positive

Their conclusion Last week wasn't about a risk to the cycle or the growth outlook - "it was a retreat away from risk assets that had recently performed well, to wit: global equities, the global Growth factor."

A higher weighting to value, in this context, would be advisable, they reckon.

Looking on the bright side, the move in yields is a reflection of better growth - and this, at a base level, is equity-positive. Bernstein crunched the numbers to find the correlation between bond yields and equity returns actually increased in the past week - suggesting rising yields are not (yet) hurting stocks.

(Helen Reid)

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OPENING SNAPSHOT: EUROPE MIXED, DAX SEES TECH ISSUES, FTSE 100 UP (0725 GMT)

There is plenty to digest today, from broader geopolitical tensions to a stall in Brexit talks ahead of a European Union summit this week, and the German election in Bavaria which delivered the worst result since 1950 for Chancellor Angela Merkel's local allies.

Understandably European bourses aren't showing a clear direction at the open with the STOXX 600 slightly in the red, and the FTSE managing to eke out a small gain as the prospect of a no-deal Brexit put pressure on the pound. Meanwhile prices on the DAX were not showing as trading on Deutsche Boerse Xetra platform was delayed due to technical problems. 

(Danilo Masoni)

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ON OUR RADAR AT THE OPEN: SOME WARNINGS (0648 GMT)

No rebound for Europe it seems this morning as futures trade well into negative territory with plenty of risks being flagged around: the trade war, Chinese growth, U.S. yields and now oil prices with the new West/Saudi diplomatic row.

Europe would not be Europe if it weren’t in the capacity of worrying about its own self- inflicted scares, such as Brexit talks going nowhere and Italy’s budget.

On the corporate news front, the European Q3 earnings season has yet to begin in earnest but there are a few figures coming it with ConvaTec slashing forecast and its CEO resigning. Also bad news from British fashion group Superdry which also warned on profit.

Same kind of headline with the CEO of Ceconomy quitting after a profit warning.

Sweden’s Getinge also took a 200 million dollars provision on its Q3 for liabilities claims for surgical mesh products in the US. Some optimism from the CEO of ProSieben who wants to double the market value of his company within 5 years.

Barclays is to compete with Goldman in the US on digital retail accounts.

(Julien Ponthus)

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EUROPEAN FUTURES OPEN IN THE RED (0609 GMT)

It definitely doesn't look good for the open with European futures starting the day with a slide. Even the FTSE is now expected to open in negative territory despite the lower pound and the Brexit mess.

(Julien Ponthus)

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MORNING CALL: NO REBOUND IN SIGHT (0530 GMT)

With Asian stock markets closing the day in negative territory, European bourses seem set to open in the red, meaning a quick rebound from Friday's fall is unlikely at the moment.

Fears of an escalation in the trade war, doubts about growth in China and rising U.S. interest rates are keeping investors on their toes.

Not helping the mood, oil prices and Saudi Arabian shares are being hit by diplomatic tensions between Riyadh and the West after the monarchy warned against threats to punish it over disappearance of a journalist critical of its policies.

Financial spreadbetters expect London's FTSE to open 9 points higher, Frankfurt's DAX 7 points lower and Paris' CAC to open down 15 points.

Negative news on Britain's divorce talks with the EU seems to be pushing the pound down and therefore contributing to lift the FTSE.

(Julien Ponthus)