LONDON — European stock markets were broadly flat in midmorning trading on Wednesday, while British retail stocks were in retreat following a profit warning from fast-fashion and home furnishings retailer Next.
The CAC 40 in Paris was flat at 4,899.51; as was the FTSE 100 in London at 7,174.30, and the FTSE MIB in Milan, at 19,580.91. The FTSE 100, which ended 2016 — and began 2017 — on a high, was down 0.1 percent to 7,173.73.
The euro traded at $1.04, while the pound fetched $1.23 and the Swiss franc equaled $0.98 at 10:40 a.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, led by the British high street retailer Next, which fell 9.5 percent to 43.19 pounds after the company said year-end profits would be at the bottom end of projections, at 792 million pounds. It added that profits would decline further next year.
The retailer said full-price sales in the pre-Christmas trading period were down 0.4 percent, and reiterated that 2017 would be a challenge.
Fellow British retailer Joules Group fell 3.2 percent to 2.13 pounds; Primark parent Associated British Foods 3.5 percent to 26.17 pounds, and department store Debenhams 4.4 percent to 0.53 pounds. French Connection declined 7.9 percent to 0.32 pounds, while Marks & Spencer Group was down 5.4 percent to 3.26 pounds.