Europe totters after Wall Street rally, Maersk jumps
(Reuters) – European stocks wobbled in thin trading on Wednesday, failing to draw strength from a record run for Wall Street’s S&P 500, as investors feared a resurgence in coronavirus cases could dent an economic recovery in the continent.
After opening lower, the pan-European STOXX 600 index edged up 0.1%, with bourses in Germany, London and France .GDAXI .FTSE .FCHI trading nearly flat.
Danish stocks .OMXC20 outperformed after shipping group Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) jumped 5% as its full-year earnings guidance came above its forecast due to cost cuts.
Brewery Royal Unibrew (RBREW.CO) jumped 9% to the top of STOXX 600 after it raised its 2020 earnings forecast.
Trillions of dollars in stimulus and a rally in technology stocks helped the S&P 500 confirm a U.S. equities bull market was intact on Tuesday, but doubts over the strength of a global recovery limited gains across other markets on Wednesday. [GLOB/MKTS]
“Volumes over the last two days have been the lowest since Christmas eve,” said Chris Bailey, European strategist at Raymond James in London. “And technically, it wasn’t that exciting although the S&P 500 was at a new high.”
“It’s very much August markets and the bigger moves will come about in September and October.”
Travel stocks like British Airways-owner IAG (ICAG.L) and easyJet (EZJ.L) rose after UK’s health minister said the government was working with Heathrow Airport on a plan to use COVID-19 testing to help shorten the number of days that travellers have to spend in quarantine.
The sector has come under pressure recently, with several countries in Europe imposing fresh travel curbs due to a pick-up in coronavirus cases.
Energy majors BP (BP.L), Total TOTF.PE and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) were down about 1% as crude prices slid on concerns about U.S. fuel demand. [O/R]
German utility group RWE (RWEG.DE) fell 3.6% as it launched a share issue to finance its purchase of wind turbine maker Nordex’s (NDXG.DE) project development pipeline.
Belgian biotech company Galapagos (GLPG.AS) slumped nearly 26 % after U.S. health regulators rejected its lead product filgotinib to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
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