European stocks subdued on Orsted profit warning

Danish wind farm developer Orsted hits utilities, while France’s Carrefour jumps


European stocks were little changed on Wednesday as a profit warning from Danish wind farm developer Orsted hit utilities, while French grocer Carrefour jumped following merger talks. Carrefour SA was up 10.6 per cent after Canadian convenience-store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard said it had approached Europe’s biggest retailer to discuss a combination. The stock topped gains on Paris’ CAC 40, which was up 0.2 per cent, while shares in French retailer Casino jumped 6.4 per cent.

Another big gainer was Spanish telecom company Telefonica, which rose over 8 per cent after it agreed to sell its mobile phone masts in Europe and Latin America to U.S.-based telecom infrastructure operator American Towers for €7.7 billion in cash.

However, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose just 0.1 per cent, as utilities were a drag after Orsted slumped 7.5 per cent on warning a return to more normal wind speeds this year would hit operating earnings.

The German Dax remained muted as health minister Jens Spahn said the country will not be able to lift all restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus at the beginning of February. - Reuters