Europe Stocks | Afternoon Trading: European stocks move lower as traders monitor earnings; UK moves toward December election
Silvia Amaro, Elliot Smith
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.
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.