European shares are mixed in the mid-afternoon Tuesday, as a combination of news sways investor sentiment. Weak economic data weighs on confidence, the Italian political backdrop remains in focus, while a mixture of earnings results is also adding to the mix for investors.
By 1410 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.02% higher, while the EUROSTOXX 50 was down 0.16%. The regional bourses, meanwhile, were equally mixed. The DAX slipped 0.14%, the French CAC was 0.13% in the green and the Spanish IBEX fell 0.53%.
Economic data disappoints
European indices took a hit early in the Tuesday session as German GDP figures disappointed. The preliminary German first-quarter GDP calculation showed growth of 0.3% on the quarter and 2.3% on the year, below expectations.
Meanwhile, the German ZEW index, which measures economic sentiment among the financial sector, held steady at 8.2 in May from April. However, the assessment of the current business situation slipped to 87.4 from 87.9.
“The effects of the relatively positive values for German exports and production in March 2018 have been overshadowed in the most recent survey by uncertainty motivated by recent political events,” ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach.
“The US decision to back out of the nuclear treaty with Iran and fears of a further escalation of the international trade conflict with the US, as well as a further rise of crude oil prices, have had an overall negative impact on economic expectations in Germany,” Wambach added.
Against that backdrop, stocks have been relatively subdued. However, as always, there were some movers of note.
Raiffeisen shares gained 4.31% to €30.20 as the Austrian bank report upbeat Q1 earnings, including consolidated profit growth of 80%.
Statoil shares are also in the green as the Norwegian energy firm prepares to changes its name to Equinor. The name change is being voted on at Tuesday’s AGM and should see the company trade under its new name by Wednesday May 16th.