© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
By Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) – European shares slipped on Tuesday as disappointing earnings reports from Diageo and Bayer (OTC:) took the shine off a jump in growth-linked cyclical stocks, while investors awaited signs of progress on more U.S. fiscal stimulus.
The world’s largest spirits maker, Diageo Plc (L:), slid 6.3% as it reported a bigger-than-expected decline in underlying net sales across all markets except North America, bucking a trend which has seen alcohol producers propped up by supermarket sales during lockdowns.
German drugs and pesticides group Bayer (DE:) also fell 3.6% as moves to settle lawsuits over its Roundup weedkiller helped drive a 9.5 billion euro ($11.2 billion) loss.
Energy major BP (L:) by contrast jumped 7% as it used results to bring forward plans to speed its reinvention as a lower carbon company, funded in part by $25 billion in asset sales by 2025. [nL8N2F61A0]
Oil & gas led gains among industrial sectors () with a 2.4% rise, while automakers () and banks () rose between 1.5% and 2%.
The pan-European STOXX 600 () slipped 0.2% overall, with UK () and German () stocks both down.
After a stunning recovery since March lows that has seen the STOXX 600 climb nearly 36%, European stocks have wobbled in recent weeks on concerns about a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
“We’re already trading at high levels in equity markets, from here on it’s going to be more challenging,” said Elwin de Groot, head of macro strategy at Rabobank.
“The economy has been recovering in the last couple of months, but it remains to be seen whether activity can make headway, given the geopolitical situation and in some areas new lockdowns, although targeted, are being implemented.”
Doubts over the progress of a U.S. coronavirus aid package and a diplomatic tussle over Chinese tech companies’ operations in the United States also kept investors on edge.
Banking-heavy Italian () and Spanish () indexes were both higher, as data showed Italy standing out as the main beneficiary of the European Central Bank’s efforts to support a virus-stricken euro zone economy.
Of the 57% of companies listed on the STOXX 600 that have reported so far, nearly 62% have topped analysts’ much-reduced expectations for results, according to Refinitiv data.
Chipmaker Infineon (DE:) jumped 4.7% after its CEO Reinhard Ploss signalled “concrete signs of recovery within the automotive sector”.
Hugo Boss (DE:) gained 2.8% as it said it had returned to strong growth in China in June and saw online sales jump 74% in the second quarter.
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