Europe Economy

Europe Set for More Losses on Huge Day for Earnings

European stocks were expected to open lower on Thursday, adding to losses from Wednesday's session which was dominated by fears over the US debt ceiling.

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Renault reported a higher profit in the first half of the year compared with the same period a year ago and said it sees sales volumes and revenue higher in 2011 compared with 2010.

Siemens ' profit fell 47 percent and it confirmed the full-year outlook.

BASF's operating profit fell below expectations and the company cited risks ahead. Sanofi raised its earnings forecast for this year.

Volkswagen was also due to report before the market opens.

Astrazeneca reported sales that were above forecasts and BT reported apre-tax profit 20 percent higher in its first quarter.

Credit Suisse reported a second-quarter profit well below markets expectations and said it would cut its global workforce by 4 percent.

Asian stocks fell sharply led by Japan where Sony reports after the close but the dollar held onto gains made in Wednesday’s session as investors remained wary of the euro amid renewed fears over the debt situationin both Italy and Spain.

The problems facing attempts to get a deal on the debt ceiling in Washington where highlighted by a report from Reuters indicating the US government will lay out plans for what it would do after August 2 in the event no deal can be struck.

With both Republicans and Democrats divided on a deal, a senior advisor to the President Obama told CNBC that there was no plan B on the debt ceiling.

"The secretary of the Treasury has been so very clear on this: There is not a 'Plan B,' Congress needs to act, there are no easy exit ramps, they have to do their job and they have to do it now,” said Valerie Jarrett in an interview with CNBC.

Investors will also be digesting news that the US economy slowed down at the beginning of the second half following a downbeat Beige Book from the Fed.

A bond auction later this morning in Italy is expected to see the cost at which Silvio Berlusconi’s government can borrow again rise.

S&P cut Greece’s debt rating again but in an interview French magazine Le Point Jean-Claude Trichet, the boss of the ECB has warned that those betting on a Greek default will lose.

- Antonia Oprita,, contributed to this report