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European shares weighed down by BASF fall, but set for weekly gain

Reuters

MILAN (Reuters) - European shares edged lower in early deals on Friday, weighed down by losses in BASF after an underwhelming earnings update from the German chemical group in a session dominated by a raft of company results

The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> was down 0.1 percent by 0811 GMT. The index however remained near a 14-month high hit on Wednesday and was set for a positive weekly close for a third week in a row.

BASF <BASFn.DE>, down 3.1 percent, was the biggest faller on the STOXX. The world's largest chemicals group said it would return to earnings growth after higher petrochemical prices bolstered fourth-quarter profit. However, Baader Bank analysts said BASF delivered a low quality beat and its 2017 outlook disappointed.

Saipem <SPMI.MI>, down 5.4 percent, was among the top losers in Europe after the Italian oil services company said it did not expect any recovery for the industry this year in spite of higher crude prices, while Ingenico <INGC.PA> was the top gainer following a well-received earnings update.

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(Reporting by Danilo Masoni)

 
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