Cyclicals slump drags European shares down as banks miss expectations

Last Updated: Wed, Aug 02, 2017 22:00 hrs

* STOXX 600, blue chips down 0.5 pct

* Chipmakers buoyed by Apple results

* Standard Chartered leads banks lower after earnings

* Energy, miners, autos weaker; Rio Tinto drops (ADVISORY- Follow European and UK stock markets in real time on the Reuters Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets)

By Kit Rees

LONDON, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Miners and banks led a sell-off among cyclical sectors weighing on the European market on Wednesday, while semiconductor firms' shares were up.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.5 percent while euro zone bluechips fell 0.6 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent.

Disappointing results from Societe Generale and Commerzbank dragged on euro zone banks.

Societe Generale fell 4 percent despite reporting earnings ahead of consensus estimates.

"Unlike BNP the beats were mostly cost and cost of risk driven rather than revenue driven, with FICC (fixed income, currencies and commodities) and financing revenues below expectations," said Credit Suisse analysts.

"The beat comes from retail divisions mainly, especially international retail - Africa," said Jefferies analysts.

The euro zone banks index fell 1.1 percent. Natixis gained 0.4 percent, however, on the back of higher profits for the period.

Standard Chartered also fell more than 6 percent as the bank dashed investors' hopes of a return to a dividend payout.

Mining firms were the worst-performing, down 1.8 percent on the back of weaker metals prices and disappointing results.

Rio Tinto was the biggest weight, dropping 2.8 percent after it reported first half earnings which missed expectations. The firm also announced an interim dividend and an additional $1 billion share buyback.

"We were disappointed at the increased buyback – we would have preferred to see a higher dividend instead," analysts at Shore Capital Markets said in a note.

Results which undershot expectations were being punished more than upbeat earnings were being rewarded, said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets.

"Investors are happy to pounce on negative news and sell negative news, but they're not as keen to go out and buy when the results are good," he said.

Valuations are already high and running above long-term averages, suggesting that good earnings are much less a surprise than earnings disappointments.

Tech stocks turned from a boost to a drag as trading wore on, but Apple suppliers Dialog Semiconductor and AMS held on to gains of 3 and 4 percent respectively after optimism on future demand for the iPhone lifted Apple shares to a record high overnight.

Well-received earnings boosted shares in gambling firm William Hill, which jumped 6 percent, while Hugo Boss also enjoyed 6.5 percent gains after strong results and a return to growth in the U.S. market.

Luxury carmaker Ferrari raced to the bottom of Italy's blue-chip index, down 3.5 percent as the firm kept its full-year guidance, disappointing investors hoping for it to lift its outlook.

Lufthansa gained 3.2 percent, the top DAX gainer after well-received results.

Around halfway through the results season, second quarter earnings in Europe are expected to increase 13.4 percent year on year, or 11.2 percent excluding the energy sector, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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