European stocks edge lower despite upbeat earnings, data

European shares edged lower around midday, shrugging off earlier upbeat data and positive earnings reports.

European stocks edge lower despite upbeat earnings, data

European stocks edged lower around midday Tuesday after a stronger opening. Solid earnings reports and upbeat economic data supported stocks earlier. However, it’s likely investors remain focused on the US tax reform story, as it continues to unfold.

By around 1200 BST, the broader EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.3% lower while the EUROSTOXX 50 was off 0.2%. The French CAC was 0.1% lower and the Spanish IBEX was down 0.2%. The German DAX, meanwhile, was flat.

Earnings boost

A run of upbeat earnings reports earlier Tuesday helped indices open in the green.

Software business Simcorp shares rose 9.4% after its earnings beat forecasts. German chipmaker Infineon, meanwhile, gained 2.5% despite weaker than expected sales.

Other risers included:

  • Digital firm Scout24 was up 5.9%.
  • German engineer Manz shares were 8% higher.
  • Shares in French manufacturer Alstom, meanwhile, rose 3.9%.

Fallers in Tuesday trading included Netherlands telecoms company Altice, whose shares slid 8.3% following a price target reduction.

Smiths Group shares were 0.5% lower following news its underlying revenue fell. Meanwhile, Hikma Pharmaceuticals lost 1.4% on its acquisition news.

Positive data fails to make lasting impression

Elsewhere, support from upbeat economic data out of Europe, was short-lived.

Investors did gain a mild sentiment boost from preliminary GDP data showing German third-quarter growth was 0.8%, which in turn help keep euro zone GDP quarterly growth at 0.6% in Q3, unchanged from the second quarter.

And, while the German ZEW sentiment survey missed expectations, the increase to 18.7 in November from October’s 17.6 was a positive result.

However, it appears investors focus has shifted back to the US tax reform delay. US Republicans say they have enough support to pass their version of the reform bill this week. But, the Senate tax plan, could face opposition.

Meanwhile, concerns over the future economic growth of China is also likely weighing.  Chinese economic output growth slowed in October as a raft of data reported lower numbers.

Investment growth hit 7.3%, down from 7.5%, retail sales growth slowed to 6.2% from 6.5% and industrial production rose 6.2%, below the previous 6.6% increase.

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