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European shares drop on weaker updates, WPP and Berendsen slump
March 3, 2017 / 8:51 AM / 9 months ago

European shares drop on weaker updates, WPP and Berendsen slump

LONDON, March 3 (Reuters) - European shares slipped in early trading on Friday following some poor company updates, with WPP falling after painting a cautious picture about its outlook and Berendsen plunging following disappointing results.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.4 percent by 0822 GMT. However, the benchmark index is up more than 1 percent so far this week and headed for a positive weekly close.

Germany’s DAX was down 0.5 percent, also pressured by data showing retail sales fell unexpectedly in January.

WPP shares were down 5.8 percent after the world’s largest advertising group said it had seen a relatively slow start to 2017 and would plan conservatively for the year ahead after hitting its 2016 target for net sales growth.

Workwear and hygiene company Berendsen slumped 16 percent, the biggest decliner in the STOXX 600 index, after its financial results and outlook statement. The company said the first half will continue to be impacted by legacy operations in the United Kingdom.

On the positive side, Gemalto shares rose 6.8 percent, top gainers in the STOXX 600 index, after the digital security company said its profits from operations rose 7 percent in 2016. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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