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European shares slip before economic data; Avast soars

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock market in Frankfurt, Germany, August 2, 2022. REUTERS/Staff

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  • Euro zone business activity contracted in July
  • BMW slumps since it warns of difficult second half
  • Commerzbank sees energy and growth ‘clouds’ after Q2 profit beat
  • SocGen up after smaller-than-expected loss
  • STOXX down 0.2%

Aug 3 (Reuters) – European shares fell on Wednesday carrying out a slew of mixed earnings from companies, while gloomy business activity data put into fears of an economic slowdown.

The STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) slipped 0.2% in morning trade.

The pan-European index fell in the last session on economic slowdown fears after weak factory data globally and on concerns that U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stop by at Taiwan could escalate tensions between Beijing and Washington.

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Data on Wednesday showed business activity in the euro zone contracted slightly in July for the very first time since early this past year as consumers reined in spending amid a cost-of-living crisis. read more

Healthcare stocks such as for example UK’s AstraZeneca and Denmark-based Novo Nordisk A/S (NOVOb.CO) weighed on Europe’s benchmark index.

“Healthcare did extremely well during the last couple years. When you do see times of market stress, some of these top performers have a tendency to come off a little,” said Emma Wall, head of investment analysis and research at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) edged up 0.7% on reporting a bigger-than-expected second-quarter net profit, but gains were capped because the German bank’s leader raised concerns about gas supply and gross domestic product development in a call with analysts. read more

German banks are in the centre of a geopolitical storm as the country is specially influenced by Russian energy and its own economy will undoubtedly be hit hard by any supply shortages.

Increasing concerns, a survey showed Germany’s services sector saw its six-month expansion arrived at a finish in July as higher prices and growing concerns over gas supplies put the brakes on a post-lockdown rebound. read more

Luxury carmaker BMW dropped 5.2% after warning of an extremely volatile second half. read more

Infineon (IFXGn.DE), the best supplier of microchips to the auto industry, rose 1.7% on lifting its full-year outlook since it posted a 33% year-on-year upsurge in quarterly revenue. read more

A lot of its global semiconductor peers also bounced back from Tuesday’s losses as markets assessed Pelosi’s stop by at Taiwan, a significant chip producer. read more

Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) jumped 3.9% as buoyant activity across retail and investment banking helped the French bank report a smaller-than-expected loss in the next quarter. read more

Britain’s competition regulator said it has provisionally cleared cybersecurity firm NortonLifeLock’s (NLOK.O) $8.6 billion purchase of rival Avast (AVST.L). London-listed Avast’s shares jumped 42.2%. read more

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Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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