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Europe Stocks | Afternoon Trading: European stocks move lower as traders monitor earnings; UK moves toward December election

Silvia Amaro, Elliot Smith

European stocks traded lower on Tuesday afternoon as traders monitored earnings and progress in U.S.-China trade discussions, while the U.K. looks set for a December election.
FTSEFTSE 100FTSE7296.54-34.74-0.47403587976
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.3% during afternoon deals, with telecoms falling 2% to lead losses while construction and material stocks added 0.6% and most sectors traded in the red.
Market players are largely following corporate earnings. BP reported a 41% drop in third-quarter net profit on the back of weaker oil prices and weather impacts. BP shares were down 4% in afternoon trade.
Meanwhile, offshore wind energy developer Orsted sank 7% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after lowering its long-term financial targets and announcing a cost-cutting program.
Finland’s Stora Enso was down by 5% after the packaging firm reported lower-than-expected sales and operating profit.
At the top of the European blue-chip index, German health care company Fresenius added 5.6% following a third-quarter earnings beat on the back of strong sales of home dialysis treatments.
Meanwhile, shares of Swedbank dropped 3% following news that the Estonian financial regulator has opened a misdemeanor probe against the Swedish lender’s Estonian subsidiary, Reuters reported.

General election

The U.K. looks set to hold a general election in December in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock in Parliament. Main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn announced Tuesday that he was satisfied that conditions had been met to support sending Britain to the polls before Christmas.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost his third bid to force a general election on December 12 on Monday, after falling short of the two-thirds majority needed in Parliament. His impending attempt to introduce a bill requiring a simple majority on Tuesday is now expected to pass.
The push for early polls comes after Johnson accepted the EU’s three-month extension to the U.K.’s Brexit deadline, pushing the departure date to January 31.
Sterling traded slightly higher against the dollar in afternoon deals, reaching around $1.2884.
Meanwhile, on the trade front, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Monday that Washington is examining whether to extend tariff exclusions on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, having revealed last week that the world’s two largest economies are close to signing a “phase one” trade deal.


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