Europe Markets

European markets close lower as investors digest earnings, virus and China data

Key Points
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the day 0.7% lower provisionally, with almost all sectors closing in the red.
  • Telecoms was the only sector to end higher, up around 0.4%.

LONDON — European stocks retreated on Tuesday, as investors digested the start of U.S. earnings season, the latest China data and coronavirus developments.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the day 0.7% lower provisionally, with almost all sectors in the red. Telecoms was the only sector to close higher, up around 0.3%.

The broad move lower came as investors braced themselves for the first batch of corporate earnings in the U.S. and updates on the country's stimulus package.

In the U.S. stocks fell as third-quarter earnings season got underway. Major companies releasing results on Tuesday included JPMorgan ChaseCitigroup and Delta Air Lines. Third-quarter earnings are expected to decline significantly in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent restrictions to public life.

Tech stocks will also be in focus Tuesday as Apple's long-awaited iPhone launch, which was pushed to October due to Covid-19, takes place.

Investors also weighed the possibility of a second coronavirus relief package from Washington. Over the weekend, the Trump administration called on Congress to pass a smaller $1.8 billion coronavirus relief bill as negotiations on a bigger package continue to run into roadblocks. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi In a letter to colleagues, said the proposition has insufficient offers on healthcare issues.

Overnight in the Asia Pacific region, meanwhile, markets were mixed. That came after data from China showed that the country's exports and imports of goods hit a record in yuan-denominated terms in September, according to a Reuters report Tuesday.

In the latest coronavirus news, Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine study was paused due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.

On the data front in Europe, Germany's ZEW survey of economic sentiment fell by more than expected in October as the coronavirus pandemic, fractious Brexit negotiations and the U.S. election spiked uncertainty for Europe's largest economy.

Meawhile, the IMF revised its forecasts for the global economy slightly upward on Tuesday, after advanced economies performed above expectations in the second and third quarters. However, the Fund also warned that the recovery would likely be a long and uneven process.

Shares of German biotech company Morphosys fell more than 5% after the launch of an offering of convertible bonds, while Rolls-Royce also slid more than 6% following a bond offering.

At the top of the European blue chip index, German drug company Evotec was around 4.8% higher. Meanwhile, British utility SSE was up 1.6% after announcing the sale of its 50% stake in two West Yorkshire-based facilities for around £995 million ($1.3 billion).

- CNBC's Maggie Fitzgerald and Eustance Huang contributed to this market report.