March 3, 2020 / 3:00 PM / a month ago

Coronavirus seen extending Europe's corporate recession into 2020

A worker shelters from the rain under a Union Flag umbrella as he passes the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain, October 1, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Europe Inc is seen extending its earnings drought into 2020 with the latest Refinitiv data pointing to a fifth straight quarter of profit decline as companies continue to warn on the impact from the fast-spreading coronavirus.

Companies listed on the pan-European STOXX 600 index are now expected to report a profit decline of 1.4% in the Jan-March quarter, according to I/B/E/S Refinitiv. That’s a sharp reversal from a 5% jump expected in early February.

Fourth quarter earnings are now seen sliding 2.6%, a further deterioration from the 1.2% expected last week.

Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan, edited by Julien Ponthus

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