Sep 29, 2020

European Markets: European markets pull back with Brexit, U.S. politics on the agenda


Elliot Smith

LONDON - European markets retreated Tuesday morning, pulling back from Monday’s rally with Brexit talks and the first U.S. presidential debate on investors’ radar.

.FTSEFTSE 100FTSE5880.25-47.68-0.8081996184
.FCHICAC 40 IndexCAC4821.07-22.20-0.4611052550

The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.6% in early trade, with travel and leisure stocks shedding 1.8% to lead losses as all sectors and major bourses slid into negative territory.

The cautious open follows mixed trading in Asia-Pacific overnight, where mainland Chinese and South Korean shares advanced while stocks in Hong Kong and Australia retreated slightly.

Stateside, stock futures for Tuesday are slightly lower following a rally on Monday, as investors prepare for the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, with a clear victory for either party likely to cause some market movement.

Markets are still cognizant of the continuing spread of the coronavirus worldwide, with the global death toll now exceeding 1 million with more than 33 million confirmed cases, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Investors will also have an eye on progress toward a fresh fiscal stimulus package in the U.S., with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing on Monday night that the Democrats were unveiling a new $2.2 trillion stimulus package, smaller than initially proposed but still well above what Republican leaders have offered.

Back in Europe, the U.K. and the European Union have indicated that a Brexit deal is still some way off after negotiations recommenced Monday over implementing their Withdrawal Agreement, which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has sought to renege on.

In corporate news, the bitter fallout from LVMH’s soured $16 billion acquisition of Tiffany continues, with the Louis Vuitton owner countersuing the U.S. jeweler on Monday and arguing that Tiffany’s financial management during the coronavirus crisis nullifies the purchase agreement.

On the data front, final euro zone economic sentiment and consumer confidence readings are due at 10 a.m. BST on Tuesday.

In terms of individual share price action, British plumbing and heating distributor Ferguson climbed more than 5% in early trade after restoring its dividend as cost cuts helped the company boost full-year profits.

At the bottom of the European blue-chip index, British Airways parent IAG continued their recent poor run of form to fall 3.2%, along with French mall operator Klepierre.

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