European Stocks Fall as EU Halts New Russia Sanctions

LONDON (The Deal) -- European markets fell Tuesday amid geopolitical jitters after EU governments abruptly halted new sanctions against Russia to assess the latest Ukraine cease-fire, while corporate surprises pulled individual stocks in both directions. Asian indices were mixed. 

In London the FTSE 100 was down 0.15% at 6.824.54 while in Paris the CAC 40 retreated 0.11% to 4,469.85. In Frankfurt the DAX shed 0.12% to 9,746.25. 

In Paris, L'Oreal  (LRLCY) fell 1.85% to 124.85 euros as the maker of Maybelline mascara and Lancome cosmetics cut its growth outlook for the cosmetics market. 

Jean-Paul Agon, the company's chairman and CEO, told France's Le Figaro newspaper that the world's largest cosmetics maker is now projecting 3% to 3.5% growth in the second half, compared to an earlier forecast of 3.5% to 4%. 

In Madrid, Spanish renewable energy company Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica  (GCTAY) fell 3.18% to 9.45 pounds after announcing plans to boost its share capital by about 9.99% through an accelerated book building, due to wrap up on Wednesday. 

Gamesa said the move will give it flexibility to access business opportunities in wind power, especially onshore in emerging countries where Gamesa already enjoys a strong competitive position. 

Bucking the downward trend, Quindell rose 4.85% to 173 pence in London after the software, consulting and technology-enabled outsourcing company won a libel suit against short-seller Gotham City Research LLP. 

The lawsuit stemmed from a Gotham report claiming that some of Quindell's profits may be "suspect," which Quindell rejected and argued was highly defamatory and deliberately misrepresentative. The U.K.'s High Court ruled in favor of Quindell and other claimants including Quindell Chairman Rob Terry, and damages are to be evaluated starting in late November. 

After the news, analysts Daniel Stewart & Co. reiterated a "buy" recommendation on Quindell, which they say trades at an "undemanding" multiple of three times fiscal 2014 earnings, a significant discount to its software peers on the market. 

Wm Morrison Supermarkets  (MRWSY) also gained after Citigroup issued a "buy" recommendation on the stock. Shares rose 3.06% to 175.20 pence in London. 

In Stockholm, ABB  (ABB) rose 1.41% to 165.50 kroner after the maker of power and automation technologies announced plans to buy back $4 billion worth of shares. 

The company also unveiled its business strategy and financial targets for 2015-2020, during which period it expects to grow earnings per share by a 10% to 15% compound annual growth rate and deliver returns on investment in the mid-teens. 

ABB also announced that it won a $103 million contract from Brazilian mining company Vale to install electrical and automation systems at that country's largest iron mine. 

Finally in Milan, Telecom Italia was up nearly 3% after Carlos Slim's America Movil of Mexico said it plans to start talks with Brazil's Oi to make a joint bid for Telecom Italia's Brazil-based wireless unit, Tim Participacoes SA. 

Asian stocks were mixed. In Japan the Nikkei added 0.28% to 15,749, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng was 0.20% lower at 25,190.45.

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