European Shares Set to Dip, Focus on Credit Suisse


European shares are expected to fall in an earnings-packed day on Thursday, as Credit Suisse reports its first quarterly loss in five years, and industrial heavyweights BASF and ABB beat forecasts with their results.

Financial spreadbetters in London expect Britain's FTSE 100 index to open 26 to 30 points down, Germany's DAX to open 23 to 39 points lower and France's CAC-40 to open 28 to 37 points down.

U.S. stocks ended Wednesday's session in positive territory but off session highs, which tempered the Asian equity markets, where Tokyo's Nikkei eased 0.2 percent and the broader
TOPIX fell 0.3 percent.

European bellwethers AstraZeneca, Bayer, Peugeot and Fiat also deliver results on Thursday, yet the focus in early trade at least will likely centre on Credit Suisse, which reported a first-quarter net loss of 2.1 billion Swiss francs ($2.08 billion) and said markets
remained very difficult. The company already warned in late March it could report its first quarterly loss in five years.

Banking shares have accounted for much of the 13-percent decline this year in the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European shares.

There are no major earnings scheduled within the European technology space but this is a big week for the sector, which will likely take its cue from Wall Street where shares of iPod and iPhone maker Apple fell following the closing bell when the company gave a profit outlook for its current quarter that fell below expectations.

Internet retailer Amazon fell nearly 4 percent after-hours on Wednesday after posting quarterly results.

European tech stocks are on track for their first monthly rise after six successive falls as companies within the sector battle the fallout from the global credit crunch and a slowing economy.