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Oct 20, 2020

European Markets Closing Report: European stocks lower on coronavirus caution, U.S. stimulus; Logitech jumps 16%


Holly Ellyatt, Sam Meredith

LONDON — European stocks closed mostly lower on Tuesday, as concerns about the coronavirus in Europe, and a deadline for U.S. fiscal stimulus to be agreed, weighed on market sentiment.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down by 0.2% provisionally, paring earlier losses, with Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC shedding 0.9% and 0.3% respectively while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was marginally higher. In terms of sectors, tech stocks led the losses, down 1%, while banks climbed 0.9%.

The course of the coronavirus pandemic is at the forefront of investors’ minds as the number of daily new infections reached a record high in Europe Monday. Investors are also keeping an eye on U.S. politics. U.S. stocks climbed early on Tuesday ahead of a deadline for a new fiscal stimulus deal from Washington.

It comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “continued to narrow their differences” in a Monday afternoon phone call to discuss another stimulus package, according to Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill. The speaker said that Tuesday is the deadline to reach an agreement before the Nov. 3 election.

Meanwhile, stocks in major Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Tuesday as investors reacted to the October fixing of China’s benchmark lending rate.

Looking at individual stocks, UBS reported a net income of $2.1 billion for the third quarter on Tuesday, up 99% from the same period last year. Analysts had forecast reported net income of $1.5 billion for the quarter, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon. Shares of the world’s largest wealth manager rose 3.5% on the news.

Sticking with Swiss companies, Logitech surged to the top of the European benchmark during Tuesday’s trade. The computer equipment maker reported a 75% jump in second-quarter sales, citing a boost in demand as many people adapt to working from home amid the pandemic. Shares of Logitech jumped over 15.9%.

Meanwhile, rail booking app Trainline fell more than 12% after announcing that CEO Clare Gilmartin will step down at the end of February 2021.

Swedish telecoms operator Tele2 fell 3.7% after the company reported core earnings in line with market expectations and left its outlook for operating profit unchanged. Shares of the firm dipped nearly 7% on the news.

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