By Carolyn Cohn LONDON (Reuters) - European stocks dipped on Thursday as disappointing earnings from U.S. tech heavyweights Google and IBM dampened the previous session's upbeat tone on Wall Street, and the dollar weakened on dovish remarks from the Federal Reserve. Google Inc fell as much as 6 percent after first-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street targets and margins narrowed as its ads prices decline persisted. Shares in IBM Corp fell as much as 4 percent after the world's largest technology services company reported its lowest quarterly revenue for five years as it struggles with falling demand for storage and server products. European stocks fell 0.14 percent, with upcoming Easter holidays, profit warnings from French spirits maker Remy Cointreau and German business software maker SAP and tensions over Ukraine also weighing.
(Reuters) - The Federal Reserve indicated to Citigroup Inc that the bank would get more time to fix certain "stress test" planning problems before rejecting its capital plan last month, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people close to the company. The Fed had agreed to give Citigroup a 2015 deadline to address a series of shortcomings identified by the regulator in the wake of the 2013 test, the report said.
By Alexei Oreskovic and Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Disappointing results from Google Inc and IBM may unnerve investors shaken by a strong recent selloff in tech stocks, underscoring the challenges the Internet and IT sectors face as corporate report cards come due in coming weeks. IBM blamed weak hardware sales for its lowest quarterly revenue in five years, worsened by an 11 percent slide in overall sales in emerging markets including China, Brazil, Russia and India. Like IBM, they have struggled to grow their businesses, particularly in China, whose economy is down-shifting after years of hyper-growth.
By Leika Kihara TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan maintained its upbeat view on most of the country's regional economies, adding to reassurances from its governor that the world's third-largest economy can ride out the pain from a sales tax hike without additional stimulus. Also on Thursday, a Reuters survey showed manufacturers were more confident about business conditions in April and saw a more moderate dip over the next three months, suggesting the damage from the tax hike may be less pronounced than thought. The optimism may add to a growing consensus in financial markets that the central bank will hold off on easing policy until around July to spend more time scrutinizing the impact from the April 1 tax hike on domestic consumption. In a quarterly report analyzing nine regional sectors of Japan, the BOJ raised its assessment for one and left unchanged its view for the rest to say they are all recovering moderately.
By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's first-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street targets and margins narrowed as the price of its ads continued to decline, underscoring the challenges Internet companies face as the world shifts toward mobile devices. Shares of Google were down 3 percent to $539.80 in afterhours trading on Wednesday, after initially sliding roughly 6 percent on the news. The number of "paid clicks" by consumers on Google's ads increased by 26 percent in the first quarter, disappointing some analysts who had hoped for stronger volume growth. And the average "cost per click" declined 9 percent, extending a downward trend as mobile advertising, typically cheaper than traditional online ads, make up a bigger slice of its business.