European stock markets are expected to weaken at the open Friday, weighed by disappointing results from U.S. tech giants Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), bucking the recent positive trend of corporate results.
European stocks are set for strong gains in October, boosted by a swathe of positive earnings, but the week is set to end on a negative note after weaker than expected quarterly earnings from both Apple and Amazon raised fears about the impact of global supply chain issues coming into the holiday season.
Apple, in particular, noted that supply chain problems cost it $6 billion in sales during the company's fiscal fourth quarter, and Chief Executive Tim Cook said the impact will be even worse during the current holiday sales quarter.
The earnings season continues in Europe Friday, with BNP Paribas (OTC:BNPQY) in the spotlight after the French bank, the largest in Europe, launched a share buyback program for a maximum total of 900 million euros ($1 billion) after posting a 79% jump in equities trading in the quarter.
German carmaker Daimler (OTC:DDAIF) reported a higher quarterly net profit despite the global semiconductor chip shortage, as it focused on higher-margin cars and cost cutting.
Air France KLM (PA:AIRF) posted a profit of almost 800 million euros in the third quarter, after a loss in the same period in 2020, beating the Franco-Dutch airline group's own expectations, as passenger numbers almost doubled thanks to easing coronavirus travel curbs.
Turning to economic data, French GDP grew 3.0% in the third quarter, more than expected, raising expectations of a good number for the Eurozone as a whole later in the session.
However, the main focus will be on the October inflation data for the region, especially after the European Central Bank decided Thursday to keep its monetary policy stance unchanged despite increased inflationary pressures.
Crude prices stabilized Friday, but were on course for their first weekly drop in months as the heat comes out of a near two-month rally prompted by record high gas prices in Europe and China.
Attention now turns to next Thursday’s meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia, a group called OPEC+. These top producers are expected to stick to their plan to add 400,000 barrels a day of supply each month until April 2022.
By 2:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% lower at $82.75 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.2% to $83.81. Both benchmarks were on track to fall about 1% for the week - the first weekly drop in 10 weeks for WTI and the first in eight weeks for Brent.