(RTTNews) – European stocks drifted down to a weak close on Tuesday as worries about growth amid continued surge in coronavirus cases in several parts across the continent, and some none-too encouraging earnings reports and economic data weighed on sentiment.
News that Johnson & Johnson has paused late-stage vaccine trials after an unexpected illness of a subject, and reports that countries including the U.K., France and Switzerland are likely to impose additional restrictions to curb the spread of the virus added to the bearish mood.
Investors were also closely following the developments on a conroavirus relief plan in the U.S.
The pan European Stoxx 600 declined 0.55%. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 slid 0.53%, Germany’s DAX shed 0.91% and France’s CAC 40 ended down 0.64%, while Switzerland’s SMI lost 0.27%.
Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey closed weak.
Denmark, Iceland and Portugal markets closed higher, while Netherlands ended flat.
In the UK market, Rolls-Royce Holdings declined more than 6%. British Land Company, Lloyds Banking Group, Hargreaves Lansdown, IAG and Land Securiitis lost 4 to 5%.
Natwest Group, Legal & General Group, Barclays, Taylor Wimpey, Aviva, Smith Ds and Standard Life were among the other major losers.
Clothing retailer French Connection Group plunged sharply after it reported a much widened pretax loss for the first half of fiscal 2021.
Utility SSE surged 1.7% after it agreed to sell its 50% stake in Ferrybridge and Skelton Grange multi-fuel assets in a £995 million cash deal. Scottish Mortgage, Experian, Tesco, Bunzi, Morrison Supermarkets and Sainsbury closed notably higher.
In Germany, Thyssenkrupp, Wirecard, Bayer, Lufthansa, Fresenius, Infineon Technologies, Allianz, Munich RE and HeidelbergCement posted sharp losses.
In the French market, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole lost 3.7 to 4%. Airbus Group declined sharply following a rating downgrade of the stock to “underweight” by JP Morgan.
Veolia, Vini, Renault, ArcelorMittal and Peugeot also declined sharply.
On the other hand, Unibail Rodamco moved up by about 3% after agreeing to sell its SHiFT office building to a consortium of French institutional investors for 620 million euros.
WorldLine, Orange, Legrand, Publicis Groupe and Sanofi also closed on firm note.
In economic releases, German consumer prices declined 0.2% yearly in September, after remaining unchanged in August, as estimated earlier, final data from Destatits revealed. Prices fell for the second time since the beginning of the year.
The ZEW economic sentiment index for Germany fell to 56.1 from 77.4 points the previous month.
The U.K. ILO jobless rate rose by 0.4 percentage points from the preceding quarter to 4.5% in three months to August, official data showed.
Total retail sales in the U.K. grew 5.6% annually in September versus a 0.6% drop a year ago, the British Retail Consortium said. This was the fastest growth since December 2009, excluding Easter distortions.
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