What's going on?
Most European companies have reported their latest financial results. Now that breakfast, lunch, and dinner has been served, we can see who was well fed and who’s still hungry…
What does this mean?
According to a report by US investment bank Goldman Sachs, European companies overall grew their sales by 6% and profit by 9% compared to the same time last year, on average – which is roughly what investors predicted. Banks, overall, largely exceeded expectations in the second quarter. Several began to reap the rewards of their multi-year restructuring efforts. Plus, when European interest rates begin to rise, it should be a tide that lifts all banking boats.
Why should I care?
For markets: European turmoil has shaken confidence.
The falling value of Turkey’s currency sparked some concerns among investors in European banks. They sold off their shares, with Spanish banks hit in particular since they’re owed over $80 billion by Turkish companies and could face significant losses if those companies were to default (Turkish companies may struggle to pay their debts as their currency now buys fewer dollars than previously). Investors sold shares of banks that own Italian government bonds, too, likely on concerns that the country will add to its mountain of debt, which is already a third larger than its entire economy. Italy, as part of the eurozone, doesn’t have the flexibility to print more money to pay off its debts, like the UK or US.
For you, personally: Around 20% of your investments may well be in Europe.
If you invest via one of the major robo advisors in the UK or the US, around 20% of your cash could be invested in European stocks, based on research by Finimize (want to know more about robo advisors? We got you). Whether near or far to your person, the bottom lines of European companies could have a large effect on the bottom line of you, as in investor.