Europe close: Stocks end on mixed note ahead of key EU leaders' summit
European shares turned in a slightly mixed performance as investors eyed the latest round of third quarter US bank earnings, Brexit developments ahead of a major European Union summit the next day and worries over another pause in a Covid-19 vaccine trial.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped 0.09% to 370.62 but the German DAX added 0.07% to 13,028.06 while the FTSE Mibtel was up 0.25% to 19,607.73.
Sterling was up 0.66% against the US dollar at 1.3023 after the UK signalled its intention to continue Brexit talks past Prime Minister Boris Johnson's self-imposed 15 October deadline.
Instead, the PM would wait until after the two-day meeting of the European Council, during which Brexit talks are on the agenda, before taking a decision on whether to end talks, a person close to the negotiations told Bloomberg.
Earlier, it was reported that EU leaders meeting in Brussels would say that "progress on the key issues of interest to the Union is still not sufficient for an agreement to be reached", according to draft conclusions.
Healthcare stocks were lower after analysts at Citi downgraded their view on UK Pharma and Biotech issues to 'neutral' due to potential US election risks.
ASML Holding shares fell as the Dutch semiconductor maker reported a sharp rise in third-quarter net profit, but warned of economic uncertainties ahead.
Atlantia shares topped the gainers board, up almost 10% at one stage on reports Italy's state lender CDP had teamed up with private equity firm Blackstone and infrastructure fund Macquarie to prepare a bid for the company’s stake in its motorway unit.
Education publisher Pearson was weaker as it posted a 14% decline in revenue for the first nine months of 2020 but said the trend was improving in the third quarter, with a strong performance from its global online learning business.
Just Eat Takeaway was in the black after the food-ordering firm reported a 46% year-on-year rise in orders during the third quarter, driven by continuing coronavirus curbs. Recipe ingredient delivery outfit HelloFresh rose on the back of the news.
Distribution and services group Bunzl rose 2% after the company reported a rise in third-quarter revenue thanks to the sale of Covid-19 related products and said second-half revenue was expected to grow strongly.