European shares slipped on Tuesday as grim forecasts from German giants Bayer and Lufthansa soured sentiment, while a battered pound helped London’s blue-chip index outperform for a second day.
Bayer slipped 3% as it became the latest agricultural supplies company to be affected by flooded farms in the United States and by trade disputes, saying its full-year earnings target has become harder to reach.
Airline Lufthansa dropped 5.6% after posting a decline in second-quarter earnings and saying that the European market was likely to remain challenging this year.
That helped make Europe’s travel and leisure index the biggest faller among major sectors, with a 1.1% drop that would be its worst in more than a month.
With concerns about global growth still bubbling among investors, a GfK survey showed German consumer morale worsening for the third month in a row heading into August as trade disputes bit in Europe’s biggest exporter.
Germany’s main stocks index fell 0.5% by 0758 GMT, while the broader pan-European stocks STOXX 600 lost 0.4%.
“Most markets are down this morning,” said Simona Gambarini, a markets economist at Capital Economics. “The S&P closed lower yesterday. We have a few data releases regarding the eurozone that could push equity prices down but I think everyone is waiting for the Fed meeting.”
As evidence continues to build of the impact of a bruising trade war on global growth, expectations that major central banks will adopt accommodative policies have buoyed global markets since a sharp fall in May.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to deliver a quarter-point cut in rates on Wednesday, although there is some lingering hope it could respond to President Donald Trump’s call for a bigger move – or at least point the way to more easing in the near future.
London’s blue chip FTSE 100 index was the big outperformer of the main indexes, touching fresh 11 month highs on the back of a 3% jump in shares for energy giant BP.
The index, heavy with internationally-focussed firms who get their revenue from abroad, was also supported by a drop in sterling to more than two-year lows on the rising possibility of a disorderly Brexit.
Ireland’s main stock index ISEQ, which tends to fall when fears of a no-deal UK departure from the European Union grow, slid 1%
London-listed BBA Aviation topped the STOXX 600 with a 5.5% jump after it announced a $1.37 billion deal to sell its aircraft parts unit to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.
British household goods maker Reckitt Benckiser was the biggest weight on Europe’s main index after it reported lower than expected second-quarter sales and cut its full-year revenue target.
French stocks dipped 0.2%, hit also by data showing the economy slowed slightly in the second quarter
Lenders were also among the biggest decliners in Europe with bank-heavy indexes in Italy and Spain both declining more than 0.6%.