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European shares dip after flood of earnings

After a positive open, most share markets soon turned negative - as Europe's bourses buckled under a flood of earnings.

There were strong gainers: Swedish defence firm Saab saw its shares rise 7 per cent on results well ahead of forecasts.

Tech sector sensor specialist and Apple supplier AMS gained on Q3 sales above its own guidance.

And bulls on banking stocks were cheered by UBS - the Swiss giant gaining as news of cost-cutting offset a 16 per cent slide in net profit.

But at the other end of the spectrum, British household goods maker Reckitt Benckiser slumped five per cent after cutting its full-year sales forecast for the second time.

And drugsmaker Novartis could only eke out small gains despite boosting its full-year targets.

Ken Odeluga of City Index sees a mixed set of results coming out of this latest earnings season.

SOUNDBITE (English) CITY INDEX MARKET ANALYST, KEN ODELUGA, SAYING:

"The capacity for surprises is high. And of course when you see these positive surprises to the upside, you get a commensurate share price reaction. But on the other hand, there's little to suggest that the trend of very, very moderate - perhaps even stagnant - growth is showing much sign of abating."

Bucking the trend: Britain's FTSE edged into positive territory ....

Despite the UK's ongoing political drama over how - or indeed whether - it'll leave the EU on schedule at the end of the month.

Arthur Brunner of ICF Bank.

(SOUNDBITE) (German) AUTHORISED REPRESENTATIVE PRICING INTERMEDIARIES ICF BANK, SAYING (on BREXIT / TRADE DISPUTE), ARTHUR BRUNNER:

"Markets are cautiously optimistic about Brexit. Also, there are reports out of China and the United States that a deal might be signed in mid-November to end their trade conflict so the mood is rather optimistic."

Investors in Just Eat enjoying a burst of optimism too - on news of a rival bid for the British food delivery firm, by Prosus.

At 710 pence per share, the Prosus offer promises a 20% premium to Takeaway.com's bid.

Just East shares were up over 20 per cent after the news.