Markets

European stocks close slightly lower as investors watch corporate earnings, Covid cases

Key Points
  • Earnings season continued to gather steam Monday, with Michelin, Faurecia, Ryanair and Philips all reporting.
  • German business sentiment fell unexpectedly in July, the Ifo Institute's monthly survey showed Monday, as supply chain constraints and rising Covid-19 infections dampened recent optimism.

European stocks closed slightly lower on Monday, tracking lackluster global sentiment as investors monitored corporate earnings and looked ahead to a key meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended around 0.12% lower, with healthcare stocks falling 1.3% to lead losses while mining stocks jumped over 2.7%.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly lower on Monday, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index falling sharply along with mainland Chinese markets. Regulatory pressure and an acrimonious start to a summit between China and the U.S. pushed down tech and education stocks in the region.

Stateside, the S&P 500 hovered around its record on Monday ahead of a busy week of earnings. Investors are also looking ahead to the Federal Open Market Committee meeting later this week for hints as to when the central bank may begin tapering its stimulus program.

Back in Europe, earnings season continued to gather steam Monday, with Michelin, Faurecia, Ryanair and Philips all reporting.

Ryanair reported a 273 million euro ($322 million) loss for the second quarter and cautioned that it may finish the fiscal year "somewhere between a small loss and breakeven" as Covid-19 restrictions linger.

In corporate news, Credit Suisse has agreed an out-of-court settlement with former wealth management boss Iqbal Khan over the spying scandal that led to the resignation of former CEO Tidjane Thiam.

Investors continue to monitor a surge in Covid-19 cases across the continent driven by the highly-transmissible delta variant, which has led several countries to reimpose social restrictions.

On the data front, German business sentiment fell unexpectedly in July, the Ifo Institute's monthly survey showed Monday, as supply chain constraints and rising Covid-19 infections dampened recent optimism. The business climate index fell to 100.8 from June's revised 101.7, missing a projection of 102.1 from a Reuters poll of analysts.

In terms of individual share price movement, tech investment company Prosus slid 8.8% on the back of China's new measures against social media and gaming titan Tencent.

Faurecia dropped 5.7% after warning that semiconductor shortages could continue to weigh on productivity into 2022, and Philips 4% after narrowing its guidance amid a recall of its respiratory devices.

Toward the top of the European blue chip index, Swedish mining company Boliden gained 5.3%.

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