Europe midday: Shares lower as investors eye US jobless figures
European were still weaker on Thursday as investors paused ahead of US jobless claims and Airbus was hit by continuing tariffs from Washington.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.4% at 373.35 at midday reflecting lower bourses in all main Continental capitals, with London’s FTSE 100 down more than 1%.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "Reversing a decent chunk of Wednesday’s hard to justify gains, the FTSE fell far faster than its European peers on Thursday morning.
"Arguably the eurozone indices should’ve been worse off. The US maintained its tariffs on Airbus aircraft - an argument that predates both the Trump and Obama administrations - and goods like wine and single malt whisky from the continent, but failed to escalate the situation with fresh tariffs on vodka, gin and beer."
Heavweight UK stocks such as AstraZeneca, BP, Diageo and Glaxosmithkline, went ex-dividend, which also pulled the index lower.
Investors were also eyeing US-China trade tensions as officials from both countries were set to meet on Saturday to review their trade deal. There are also worries over the deadlock between US Democrats and Republicans over a fifth coronavirus aid bill.
In corporate news, Thyssenkrupp shares led the fallers as the company posted a widened net loss for the third quarter of its fiscal year amid the coronavirus pandemic, but said it expects business in the last quarter to be stable.
The engineering firm reported a net loss of €678m compared with a loss of €94m last year.
Airbus fell after the US government said it would maintain 15% tariffs on planes and 25% tariffs on other European goods.
Dutch insurer Aegon also fell sharply after it reported lower than expected first-half earnings as higher mortality and lower interest rates in the US hit the bottom line.
The company also withdrew its financial guidance for this year and next, citing an uncertain economic outlook. It said it would provide new targets at its capital markets day in December.
Collapsed payments company Wirecard was off almost 9% as German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse said it would from the DAX index of leading blue-chip stocks this month following a rule change.
Shares in TUI were lower as the world’s biggest travel operator reported a €1.1bn loss in the third quarter as demand collapse during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, wiping out revenues.
Danish brewer Carlsberg slid on a warning that lockdowns would hit second-half sales in its key markets of China and Western Europe.