Stock Market News (European Open) – Utilities halt weakness in European stocks, Asian trading ends on mixed note

Stock Market News (European Open) – Utilities halt weakness in European stocks, Asian trading ends on mixed note

Maja Rakic, XM Investment Research Desk

European stocks, as measured by the pan-European STOXX 600 index, posted a modest gain during early hours of trading, halting losses from the start of the week. A jump in the utilities sector offset losses among basic materials stocks. Major bourses in Asia ended their trading day with mixed results. The Nikkei 225 index was down 0.30% while the Hang Seng rose 0.57% led by a surge in the share price of Geely Automobile (up 6.7%).

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.05%, while the blue chips STOXX 50 posted the same gain. Swedish OMX index was the best performing with a 0.25% gain and Britain’s FTSE 100 was down by 0.05%.

Following disappointing Chinese trade data, basic materials shares plunged across Europe, causing a 0.24% drop in the basic materials sector. Tempered demand from China, the world’s largest consumer of basic materials, weighed on Antofagasta’s share price (1.4% lower) and BHP Billiton’s (1% down).

Among specific stocks, Pandora (stock slid 9.3%) and IWG (down 8.1%) fared the worst among STOXX 600 members, following their results this morning. Pandora sales and earnings came short of analysts’ forecasts, pushing the share price down. The company’s confidence in meeting its existing earnings guidance for the full year did little to stop the daily loss. Some of yesterday’s worst performers such as Paddy Power Betfair (down 4.7%) and PostNL (down 1.4%) continued declining today as well.

The utilities sector was the best performing, rising 0.46%. Nokian Tyres’ share price surged 7.8% following an upbeat set of second-quarter results. Vifor Pharma was the second-best gainer, up 4.8% amid an upgraded outlook.

Later in the day, market participants will be busy analyzing CVS Health’s quarterly results that are due ahead of the bell in the US. After the US market close, entertainment giant Walt Disney is scheduled to report its earnings.

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