European markets close unchanged after an initial rebound from Turkey fears

  • German growth figures rose in the second-quarter, but economists expressed concerned that global trade tensions and the ongoing currency crisis in Turkey could bring problems to the economic engine of Europe.
  • The lira rebounded against the dollar and the euro.
  • Copper producer Antofagasta reported a big slump in core earnings for the first half of the year.

European stocks traded lower Tuesday afternoon, even as concerns over Turkey's economic woes eased.

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The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended Tuesday provisionally higher by 0.02 percent with a number of sectors trading in positive territory. Most positive sentiment was partially driven by corporate earnings.

Despite the uptick in the overall average of the Stoxx600, there was a slight bias to selling in the main markets in the U.K., Germany, France, and Italy.

Straumann was among the top-performing stocks, higher after reporting an organic sales growth of about 20 percent for the first time in 10 years. RWE ended higher by 3.6 percent after the German firm announced that it still planned to increase its dividend for the 2018 fiscal year.

Antofagasta, on the other hand, sank to the bottom of the European benchmark, down by more than 6.4 percent. The copper producer reported a 16 percent drop in core earnings in the first half of the year, compared to the same period a year ago.

Lira rebounds

Investors continued to track events in Turkey, where the currency has been under pressure. The lira has been in freefall mostly since the start of the year, down by about 33 percent on the back of large fiscal stimulus, growing inflation, a hefty current account deficit and, most recently, a spat with the United States.

John Bolton, a White House national security adviser, met the Turkish ambassador to the United States on Monday to discuss Turkey's detention of an American pastor. The U.S. said Ankara has until Wednesday to free Andrew Brunson. However, for now, the lira seems to be gaining some ground. It was up by about 5 percent against the dollar and the euro in European trading Tuesday.

German growth outlook

German growth figures rose in the second-quarter, but economists are concerned that global trade tensions and the ongoing currency crisis in Turkey could bring problems to the economic engine of Europe.

As a result of a solid growth performance in Germany, the European statistics office also rose its growth estimate for the euro zone to 1.5 percent annual growth in annual terms.