European stocks struggled to turn a profit on Wednesday as investors soaked up a mix of earnings from Société Générale, AP Moeller-Maersk and other companies, while US equity futures rose. The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP Index, + 0.25% rose 0.3% to 411 after a modest decline on Tuesday. But the German DAX DAX, -0.03% fell 0.1% and the French CAC 40 PX1, + 0.13% and FTSE 100 UKX, + 0.20% were flat. Asian stocks had a strong session, with China’s CSI 300 Index 000300, + 2.14%, rising 2% ahead of the start of the Lunar New Year holiday in China.
On a firmer footing were US stock futures ES00, + 0.33% YM00, + 0.27% NQ00, + 0.43%, pointing to a higher start for Wall Street after a lackluster session in the than S&P 500 SPX, -0.11% and Dow industrials DJIA, -0.03% each winning streak of six sessions. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, + 0.14% achieved its 10th record close. Investors are waiting for US consumer price data for January, with a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the job market. Data from Europe showed French industrial production fell for the second month in a row in December, halting the recovery from the COVID-19 drop. Among European stocks on the move, Adyen ADYEN shares, + 8.60% led the Stoxx 600 winners with a gain of nearly 10% after the Dutch paint company reported higher net profit for the second half of 2020 and raised its long-term profit margin target. . Also near the top of the winners list, Société Générale GLE shares, + 3.31%, rose about 3% after the French bank said it would launch a buyback in the fourth quarter, after net profit to the last quarter of 2020 will fall less than expected. and it also met the 2020 guidance. Smurfit Kappa SKG shares, + 2.26%, rose more than 3% after the paper-based packaging group posted higher pre-tax earnings and increased its final dividend. On the downside, AP Moeller-Maersk MAERSK.B shares, -6.97% fell more than 6%. The Danish shipping giant reported that demand increased in the fourth quarter and that freight rates skyrocketed due to bottlenecks in its supply chain including a lack of ships and containers. Heineken HEIA shares, -1.91% fell more than 2% after the Dutch brewer said it suffered losses for 2020 due to the effects of the pandemic, but set a target to restore its adjusted operating profit margin to around from 17% by 2023. Heineken also said it expects to improve market conditions in the second half of this year. Dutch lender ABN Amro ABN, -3.20% reported a sharp drop in fourth quarter net profit for the fourth quarter due to COVID-19. The shares fell 2%.