AMSTERDAM/LONDON: European stocks ended a shade lower on Tuesday as optimism over strong British earnings was offset by UBS disclosing a hit from dealing with US investment firm Archegos, while travel stocks scaled record highs on hopes of a post-COVID rebound.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.1%, with investors holding off big bets ahead of a policy decision by the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday. The bank is widely expected to maintain easy monetary policy.
Oil major BP rose 0.4% after its first-quarter profit soared and it planned share buybacks, while Asia-focused lender HSBC gained 4.2% after it reported an upbeat quarterly profit.
Meanwhile, UBS fell 2.0% to a two-month closing low as it took an unexpected $774 million hit from Archegos, overshadowing a forecast-beating 14% rise in quarterly net profit.
European travel stocks shared this sentiment, surging 3.0% to close at a record high. Bank stocks also ended higher on upbeat earnings, as well as support from increasing euro zone bond yields.
About a quarter of STOXX companies are set to publish earnings this week. Among the 17% that have reported so far, 65% exceeded profit estimates, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Sweden’s Evolution Gaming Group jumped 14.5% to the top of the STOXX 600, as it reported a 150% jump in quarterly core earnings as the COVID-19 pandemic boosted demand for online casino games.
Danish freight forwarder DSV Panalpina surged 6.8% after it agreed to buy the logistics division of Kuwait’s Agility Public Warehousing Co in a deal worth $4.1 billion.
French diagnostics group Biomerieux fell 6.9% to the bottom of the STOXX 600 after it halved its sales outlook for the first half of the year as the easing pandemic looked to cut demand.