GLOBAL MARKETS-European shares, euro edge lower as earnings weigh

by on July 26, 2012 7:42 am BST

Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:42am EDT

* European shares edge lower on disappointing earnings

* Euro off lows vs dollar but capped by Europe woes

* Talks of central bank action limits falls

LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) – European shares and the euro
edged lower on Thursday, as weak corporate earnings reports
highlighted the growing impact of the debt crisis in Europe,
but moves were limited on talk that central banks could be
prompted into action.

Both the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank
hold policy meetings next week, heightening speculation over
what policies they could use to deal with a slowing world
economy and the growing problems of Greece, Spain and Italy.

“We remain gloomy on the euro crisis,” Citi economists said
in a report as they raised the likelihood of Greece leaving the
euro zone in the next 12-18 months to 90 percent from a 50-75
percent chance previously.

The single currency eased 0.1 percent to $1.2141, but
was clear of a two-year low of $1.2042 set earlier in the week.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.1 percent at
1,017.14 in early trading after German engineering conglomerate
Siemens posted a 23 percent drop in quarterly new
orders. Oil major Royal Dutch Shell also missed