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Europe markets close lower; Airbus shares rise; Merlin tumbles 15%

  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.25 percent, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory
  • On the data front, Britain's inflation rate soared to a fresh five-and-a-half-year high in September

European markets closed lower Tuesday, as investors monitored the latest political developments in the euro zone.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.25 percent, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
FTSE
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DAX
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CAC
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IBEX 35
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Travel and leisure stocks were among the worst performers, down 0.6 percent amid a slip in summer trade. Britain's Merlin Entertainments said a "spate of terror attacks" in the U.K. and unfavorable weather over its key summer trading period had hampered the business in 2017. Its shares were more than 15 percent lower on the news.

Elsewhere, U.K. education group Pearson issued its latest trading update Tuesday and said "good progress" had been seen during the first six months of the year. In an interview with CNBC, CEO John Fallon said the results were "encouraging", yet it was still "early days" as publishers worldwide continue to deal with the rise of digital. Its shares surged more than 7 percent to hit the top of the European benchmark.

Looking at individual stocks, Danone reported underlying sales growth sped up in its third quarter, boosted by rising demand in some of its products in China. Its shares were almost 2 percent higher on the news.

Airbus agreed Monday to buy a majority stake in Bombardier's C-Series jetliner program, grabbing control of a struggling competitor at the second attempt and giving the Canadian plane-and-train-maker an unexpected boost in its costly trade dispute with Boeing. Airbus' shares were up more than 4 percent.

On the political front, Spain's IBEX pared all of its losses from morning trade. On Monday news emerged that Madrid's High Court had detained two Catalan separatist leaders. Further to this, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont failed to respond to Spain's ultimatum to shed light on whether he would officially declare independence in the previous session.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average traded slightly higher, buoyed by strong quarterly results from UnitedHealth Group and Johnson & Johnson.

The 30-stock index also reached 23,000 for the first time.

Brexit negotiations

Elsewhere, Brexit will be on the back of investors' minds Tuesday after British Prime Minister Theresa May met with leading EU officials in Brussels on Monday.

Both May and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called for the pace of Brexit negotiations to be accelerated. The two leading figures also went on to comment on strengthening security in Europe, terrorism, and preserving the Iran nuclear accord.

Overseas, the Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras will be in Washington on Tuesday where he is set to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House. The leaders are expected to discuss a number of topics, including economic investment and defense cooperation.

On the data front, Britain's inflation rate soared to a fresh five-and-a-half-year high in September. The consumer prices index rose 3 percent last month, up from 2.9 percent in August.

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