European stocks were little changed, paring earlier losses, as banks rallied while telecommunication companies fell.
UBS AG jumped 5.4 percent after Switzerland’s biggest bank posted earnings that exceeded analysts’ projections. Royal KPN NV lost 4.8 percent after the biggest Dutch telecommunications provider said it would cut jobs as a mobile-phone price war hurt earnings. Vestas Wind Systems A/S dropped 4.8 percent after saying it seeks to raise capital.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.2 percent to 317.58 at the close of trading after earlier dropping as much as 0.8 percent. The Stoxx 600 has fallen 5.5 percent from its six-year high on Jan. 22 as a rout in emerging-market currencies spurred concern the global economic recovery is faltering, while the Federal Reserve went on slowing the pace of its bond buying.
“We still haven’t seen a strong rebound in Europe,” Soeren Steinert, who helps manage about $25 billion as associate director for equities trading at Quoniam Asset Management GmbH, said by phone from Frankfurt. “Markets around the world are nowhere near recovering yesterday’s losses, and there isn’t that much fresh money wanting to jump in. There’s still a lot of uncertainty on whether the global economy is as strong as investors had expected it to be.”
Global stocks lost about $864 billion in value yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. About $2.9 trillion has been erased from equities worldwide in 2014. The volume of shares changing hands today in companies listed on the Stoxx 600 was 25 percent greater than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
A U.S. report showed factory orders fell 1.5 percent in December, less than economists had forecast. In the U.K., construction expanded at the fastest pace since August 2007 last month, Markit Economics figures showed.
National benchmark indexes gained in 11 of the 18 western- European markets today. Germany’s DAX slid 0.6 percent while France’s CAC 40 added 0.2 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 lost 0.3 percent.
UBS added 5.4 percent to 18.39 Swiss francs. The bank reported net income of 917 million francs ($1.01 billion), double the 442 million-franc average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. UBS recorded a 470 million-franc tax gain in the quarter.
Banco Comercial Portugues SA advanced 12 percent to 18.1 euro cents after posting a smaller annual loss than analysts had predicted. The Portuguese lender said its loss narrowed to 740 million euros ($999 million) in 2013 from 1.2 billion euros in 2012. Banco Espirito Santo SA upgraded its rating on the shares to buy from neutral.
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