Europe close: Stocks little changed as markets look past US CPI
European stocks were for the most part little changed on Tuesday, although periphery stocks underperformed significantly due to the ongoing fifth wave of the pandemic on the Continent.
London’s FTSE on the other hand fared better than most of its peers throughout most of the session, after the Bank of England lifted curbs on dividend payouts, but also ended in the red.
"European indices have been largely treading water today, with a sharp rise in US inflation driving GBPUSD lower to offset some of the fears around a more hawkish stance at the Fed," said IG senior market analyst Josh Mahony.
Mid-afternoon, the US Department of Labor had published figures showing a jump in annual CPI inflation from 4.9% for May to 5.4% in June (consensus: 4.9%), but traders appeared to brush off the worse than expected data.
Against that backdrop, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.03% to 460.96 and hit a record high intraday, but Spain's Ibex 35 gave back 1.38% to 8,694.8.
Milan's FTSE Mibtel fell 0.5% to 25,156.65, while the German Dax and French CAC were down by just 0.01%.
UK banks Barclays, HSBC, NatWest and Lloyds all surrendered early gains as investors sold the news from the BoE.
Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia's shares rose 8%, topping the Stoxx 600 index, as the company said it expected to publish a revised, more optimistic forecast for 2021 in a sign that its turnaround programme under new boss Pekka Lundmark is bearing fruit.
Shares in German drug delivery device maker Gerresheimer fell to the bottom of the Stoxx after reporting lower second quarter net profit.
Shares of German genetic testing company Qiagen fell after it lowered its outlook on weaker demand for Covid-19 tests.
Norwegian chipmaker Nordic Semiconductor surged 6.1% as its quarterly profit doubled.
Iconic UK shoemaker Dr Martens were up following an upgrade to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ out of Goldman Sachs.