European shares fall as tech earnings disappoint, diplomatic Saudi tensions rise

European shares are sharply lower Tuesday, as tech sector earnings disappoint and tensions rise amid the Khashoggi investigation.

European shares fall as tech earnings disappoint, diplomatic Saudi tensions rise

European shares are trading close to two-years lows around midday Tuesday, as selling pressure continues amid a variety of developments. Disappointing third-quarter earnings updates from the tech sector weigh.

Meanwhile, diplomatic tensions over the murder of US journalist Khashoggi are also on the rise and hurting sentiment.

By 1220 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.96% lower, while the EUROSTOXX 50 lost 0.92%. Regional bourses are also negative. The German DAX sank 1.51%, the French CAC fell 1.01% and the Spanish IBEX was 0.48% in the red.

Tech sector stocks weigh

Tech stocks are among the big losers, so far Tuesday. AMS AG shares sank by as much as 31% earlier Tuesday, after the sensor supplier with Apple among its clients, disappointed investors with its Q4 outlook.

While AMS’ Q3 revenues of $479.6 million, versus $305.5 million a year earlier impressed, investors lost faith as it’s Q4 outlook was for a softer profit margin.

AMS shares slid 25.70% to CHF37.00.

French IT services firm, Atos shares, meanwhile, lost 22.58% to trade at €69.68, after reporting a mixed Q3 performance, which included a 1.8% increase in revenues from a year earlier.

However, its revenue forecast was cut to around 1% from a previous estimate of 2-3%. The firm said that was partly due to weakness in its infrastructure and data management activities in the US and Germany.

Growing Saudi tensions

Another development hitting European investor sentiment Tuesday, is growing tensions over the murder of US journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

US President Trump said he isn’t satisfied with explanations from Saudi Arabia so far, over exactly what happened to Khashoggi. Meanwhile, the New York Times said Turkish officials have audio evidence of exactly how Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, continues to deny any involvement in the murder. And, Turkish President Recep Tayyip said he will share more details on the investigation.

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