EUROPE MARKETS: ArcelorMittal, Iliad Slump In Europe; AXA Climbs

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch

Arkema loses 25%

Arkema loses 25%

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Losing stocks in Europe far outpaced the gainers on Friday, with investors accessing the latest round of earnings reports and moving out of risk-sensitive sectors, such as miners.


ArcelorMittal slumped 6.1% after the steelmaker warned it will miss its target for full-year earnings, as shipments are being hit by lower commodity prices.

Iliad SA slid 7% after the French cellphone operator said it has made a $15 billion offer to buy a stake in T-Mobile US (TMUS).

Arkema SA sank 25% after the chemicals specialist warned it will take longer to achieve its medium-term targets.

Société Générale SA lost 1.9%. The French bank reported a rise in second-quarter profit, but said earnings dropped 36% in Russia as the political standoff between the West and Moscow, and the country's weak economy, have taken a toll.

On Thursday, Adidas AG warned that the downbeat sentiment in Russia would have an impact on earnings, with the sportswear retailer cutting its 2014 outlook. Shares continued to fall on Friday, down 1.8%, after Deutsche Bank cut the company to sell from hold, and J.P. Morgan Cazenove downgraded it to neutral from overweight.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS) skidded 1.5% lower as the bank's Chief Executive Ross McEwan said it's working to wind down issues that include "significant conduct and litigation issues that will likely hit our profits going forward." Legal issues include an international probe into possible foreign-exchange market manipulation. Investec Securities analyst Ian Gordon on Friday cut the bank to sell from hold.

Capita PLC gave up 1.8% after Credit Suisse cut the business-services company to neutral from outperform.

William Hill PLC lost 2.7%. The betting and gaming company said first-half profit declined, mainly due to higher expenses.

Mining firms were also among the top decliners in Europe, as investors moved out of sectors generally considered more risky. Shares of Glencore PLC lost 1.1%, Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) fell 1.1% and BHP Billiton PLC (BHP) gave up 0.9%.

Banco Espírito Santo shares tumbled 40% and were halted Friday afternoon in Lisbon.


Belgacom SA rallied 4.8% after raising its full-year guidance and posting a rise in second-quarter profit.

AXA SA climbed 1% after the insurer said first-half net profit jumped 22%.

Shares of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA rose 2.2% after the airline and British Airways parent reported a jump in second-quarter profit.

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