European stocks were little changed, after the Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed yesterday to a six-year high, as investors weighed earnings and equity valuations. U.S. index futures were little changed, while Asian shares climbed.
RWE AG slid after reporting a drop in first-quarter earnings. ICAP Plc fell 2.1 percent after posting full-year operating profit that missed analysts’ estimates. Nordex SE rose to a six-month high after raising its full-year forecasts.
The Stoxx 600 gained less than 0.1 percent to 341.99 at 8:08 a.m. in London. The gauge advanced 3 percent in the past four weeks as mergers-and-acquisitions activity increased and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers are ready to ease monetary policy in June if necessary. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added less than 0.1 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.7 percent.
The Stoxx 600 yesterday gained 0.3 percent to 341.89, its highest level since January 2008. The benchmark gauge trades at 15.2 times the projected earnings of its members, compared with the five-year average of 12.5 times.
Seventeen companies listed on the Stoxx 600, including Rhoen Klinikum AG and British Land Co., report earnings today. Profit for the gauge’s members will increase 8.4 percent this year on average, according to analysts estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
RWE slipped 0.7 percent to 27.43 euros. Germany’s largest power producer said first-quarter profit fell 36 percent with Chief Executive Officer Peter Terium citing a difficult environment in the energy business. Recurrent net income, the measure used to calculate the dividend, dropped to 838 million euros ($1.15 billion), RWE said. That missed analysts’ average estimate of 873.4 million euros.
ICAP retreated 2.1 percent to 382.8 pence. The world’s biggest broker of transactions between banks reported full-year operating profit of 295 million pounds ($497 million), trailing projections for 304.5 million pounds. The company said market conditions remain challenging and the regulatory environment is uncertain.
Nordex gained 6.5 percent to 13.70 euros. The German wind-turbine maker now expects 2014 sales of 1.5 billion euros to 1.6 billion euros, compared with an earlier prediction of as much as 1.5 billion euros.