European stocks advanced, snapping a four-day losing streak, as investors awaited a report on U.S. jobless claims. U.S. index futures were little changed, while Asian shares declined.
Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc gained 0.8 percent after reporting first-half profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Air France-KLM Group added 3 percent after saying it plans to grow earnings by as much as 10 percent a year between 2013 and 2017.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2 percent to 345.52 at 9:01 a.m. in London. The equity benchmark dropped 0.8 percent in the past four sessions as a poll indicated for the first time that a majority of Scots favor independence ahead of next week’s referendum. The index is heading for its first weekly decline in five. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slipped 0.1 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.2 percent.
A report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington may show initial jobless claims in the U.S. fell to 300,000 in the week ended Sept. 6, from 302,000 the previous period, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Morrison climbed 0.8 percent to 178 pence after posting first-half underlying pretax profit of 181 million pounds ($294 million), exceeding the 177.5 million pound average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The smallest of Britain’s four main grocers also said the benefits of its revival plan will probably be felt later in the year after same-store revenue dropped the most in recent history in the first half.
Ocado Group Plc (OCDO) jumped 4.8 percent to 326.8 pence after Britain’s largest online-only grocer said retail gross sales climbed 15.5 percent in the third quarter. That beat analysts’ projections for a 14.8 percent increase.
Air France-KLM rose 3 percent to 8.73 euros. Europe’s largest airline will seek to lift operating profit by as much as 10 percent each year as it expands its low-cost business and offers more services to leisure travelers.
Ashmore Plc tumbled 5.5 percent to 325.8 pence. The money manager said full-year pretax profit fell 34 percent to 170.3 million pounds. That missed the average analyst prediction of 176.5 million pounds.
Next Plc (NXT) dropped 2.7 percent to 6,970 pence after reporting first-half underlying pretax profit of 324.2 million pounds, missing the average analyst estimate of 329 million pounds.