European Stocks Sag on Banco Espirito Santo Fears, Deflation Worries

LONDON (The Deal) -- European stock indices fell on Thursday amid a plethora of earnings reports as eurozone consumer price figures suggested aggressive central bank tactics haven’t shaken off the specter of deflation.

European Commission statistics showed the July annual inflation rate in the eurozone was 0.4%, down from 0.5% and below consensus expectations. On the brighter side, German unemployment in June fell more than expected, government figures showed, though the rate was unchanged at 6.7%.

In London the FTSE 100 was down 0.40% at 6,746.54. The DAX in Germany fell 1.24% to 9.476.58 and in Paris the CAC 40 lost 0.91% to 4,272.85.

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In Frankfurt, Adidas (ADDYY) slumped 15% as the sporting-goods maker said 2014 earnings will be up to 30% lower than previously predicted amid uncertainty about its Russian business and declining golf gear sales. It also binned its 2015 sales and profit targets.

In Lisbon, Banco Espirito Santo (BKESY) shares plunged more than 40% as trading resumed after it reported a bigger-than-expected loss of €3.6 billion ($4.8 billion) and fired the starting gun on an emergency capital raising after a key measure of the bank’s financial strength fell below the regulatory minimum. Banco Espirito Santo said it might sell its international businesses.

In London, Balfour Beatty (BAFBF) shares tumbled more than 6% after it said short-lived merger talks with infrastructure services peer Carillion (CIOIF) had ended after its would-be partner asked Balfour to take a New York consultancy unit it’s trying to sell off the block. Carillion was down more than 3%.

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