European equities slipped from one-year highs on Friday as General Electric (GE.N) and Bank of America (BAC.N) results disappointed and hurt momentum that was built after IBM (IBM.N) and Google (GOOG.O) earnings figures.
At 1146 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top European shares was down 0.4 percent at 1,013.75 points after rising to 1,026.43, the highest level since October last year.
The index, which slumped 45 percent last year, is up 22 percent in 2009 and has surged 57 percent since hitting a record low in early March.
Financials shares were among the top losers, with Standard Chartered (STAN.L), HSBC (HSBA.L), Barclays (BARC.L), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L), BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) falling between 0.1 percent to 1.7 percent.
But Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) was up 2.7 percent. The part-nationalised British lender agreed to sell its loss-making Halifax estate agency business for a token 1 pound ($1.62) and will shed a further 360 jobs in the process.
We're still in a upside trend on the market, but it won't last unless we see companies' revenues starting to rise again. And it's not the case for now. said Jacques Henry, analyst at Louis Capital Markets, in Paris.
Earnings at General Electric, the world's No. 1 maker of jet engines and electricity-producing turbines, fell 42 percent while revenue tumbled 20 percent. [ID:nN16143307]
Bank of America posted its second quarterly loss in less than a year as it suffered from consumer credit losses. It reported a net loss of $1 billion, or 26 cents per share, for third quarter, compared with net income of $1.18 billion, or 15 cents per share, in the same period last year.
MINERS FALL, TECH SHARES UP
Miners also lost ground after metals prices fell on rising inventories. BHP Billiton (BLT.L), Anglo American (AAL.L), Antofagasta (ANTO.L), Rio Tinto (RIO.L), Xstrata (XTA.L) and Eurasian Natural Resources (ENRC.L) fell 0.4 to 2.2 percent. But technology shares were in demand as results from the Internet search leader Google and the technology services giant IBM showed on Thursday that demand was returning.from both consumers and businesses.
ARM Holdings (ARM.L), Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA), Logitech (LOGN.VX) and Tandberg (TAA.OL) rose 0.1 to 1.6 percent.
Sweden's Ericsson (ERICb.ST) gained 2 percent after mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson, owned by Ericsson and Japan's Sony Corp (6758.T), posted a smaller than expected third-quarter pretax loss, boosted by big cost cuts.
Energy shares were among top gainers as crude oil CLc1 hovered near one-year highs. BP (BP.L), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), BG Group (BG.L), Tullow Oil (TLW.L), Repsol (REP.MC), Total (TOTF.PA) and StatoilHydro (STL.OL) added 0.6 to 2.6 percent.
ENI (ENI.MI) was 1.7 percent higher after the company said it had made a large gas discovery off the coast of Venezuela.
French aerospace and defence group Safran (SAF.PA) fell 5.4 percent after it forecast a challenging 2010 but maintained its guidance for 2009 as it posted flat third-quarter revenue.
Among automakers, Volkswagen AG (VOWG.DE) said it will seek a potential further 10 billion euros from shareholders to secure its merger with Porsche (PSHG_p.DE) and safeguard its financial stability. Volkswagen preferred shares (VOWG_p.DE) fell 4.2 percent.