European shares edged lower on Friday, as Brexit woes and Anheuser-Busch InBev’s forecast of moderate annual profit growth offset strong sales from luxury goods makers.
The UK Prime Minister conceded for the first time on Thursday that he could not meet his Oct. 31 Brexit deadline and called for a general election, seen as the only way to break the stalemate between him and parliament.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.1% at 0715 GMT with most indices slightly lower, but France’s CAC 40 .FCHI outperformed and was up 0.3%.
Losses were led by the food and beverage sector .SX3P, weighed by Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR), down 9%, after the world’s largest beer maker reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit and forecast moderate profit growth in 2019.
On the other hand, Gucci owner Kering (PRTP.PA) and Italian jacket maker Moncler (MONC.MI) jumped to the top of the STOXX, as the companies joined other luxury labels in easing fears of a major third quarter sales hit from the protests in Hong Kong.
Investors will be on the look out for a survey of business climate indicator for Germany at 0800 GMT as Europe’s manufacturing powerhouse flirts with recession.