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Europe’s earning season mostly passed without incident with a higher proportion of companies reporting numbers that were in line with consensus forecasts than usual.

Quilter Investors’ head of dealing Maz Almouti explains, “Europe’s results didn’t ruffle feathers as analysts have been busy revising down their estimates. Back in June, they were still forecasting earnings per share (EPS) growth of 3.6%. By the time earnings season got underway this had dropped to just 0.8%.

“Estimates for annual EPS growth have quietly cratered from 8% at the start of the year to just 2.3%. Sectors like health care and staples have seen modest upgrades but autos, chemicals and mining have all taken big hits. Margin pressures are mounting against a backdrop of anaemic growth, endless political infighting and a trade war that has so far inflicted only collateral damage on Europe,” he says.