Europe Markets

European markets close mixed on geopolitical tensions; Dialog Semiconductor down 14%


European markets closed mixed Tuesday amid increased geopolitical risks in the Middle East and Korean Peninsula.

The FTSE 100 ended the day up 0.23 percent at 7,348, the French CAC 40 meanwhile was down 0.11 percent at 5,107; and the German DAX ended down 0.5 percent at 12,200.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 was little changed on the day, up 0.02 percent with most sectors in positive territory and major bourses mixed.

Europe's Luxury goods shares showed strength after LVMH reported an upbeat sales report. The French group recorded an uptick in first-quarter sales which beat analyst expectations sending shares 1.23 percent higher in afternoon trade. However, it ended the day up just 0.55 percent.

Basic resources and construction & materials were also among the top performing sectors Tuesday, up 5 percent and 3.7 percent respectively. Infrastructure group Balfour Beatty was seen at the top of the European benchmark on Tuesday after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its stock recommendation to "buy". Its shares were up more than 5.8 percent by the end of the day. Precious metals mining company Polymetal was also trading up 3.8 percent by Tuesday close.

Banks underperformed, however, falling 0.64 percent on Tuesday, weighed down by Banco Popular as the lender extended losses from the previous session. Spain's beleaguered bank is looking for another capital hike in order to cleanse a balance sheet containing billions of euros in toxic assets, its chairman said Monday. Banco Popular's shares were down 9.6 percent on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a financial analyst at Bankhaus Lampe downgraded Dialog Semiconductor from "hold" to "sell" shortly before Tuesday's open citing the apparent risk that the German manufacturer could lose a crucial supply deal with Apple. The Anglo-German chipmaker's shares slumped more than 14 percent.

Elsewhere, U.S. markets shifted lower Tuesday morning as Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia had information that the U.S. was planning new missile strikes on Syria.

G-7 meeting in focus

G-7 Foreign ministers reconvened in Italy for the second and final day of the summit. Foreign ministers from their respective major industrialized nations looked for ways to intensify political pressure on Russia to break ties with Syrian President Bashar Assad. However, there was a lack of consensus on whether there should be new sanctions against Russia for its perceived role in last week's suspected Syrian chemical attack that prompted the U.S. strike.

Elsewhere, U.K. inflation stood at 2.3 percent in March and maintained a four-year high as seen in February. The reading was broadly in line with analysts expectations and stays above the Bank of England's 2 percent target for the second consecutive month.

The mood among German investors brightened in April as robust strength in Europe's largest economy was forecast to continue into the second quarter, according to a survey released Tuesday. The ZEW monthly survey showed economic sentiment had surged up from 12.8 points to 19.5, its highest level since August 2015.

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