European Stocks Dip to May Low as Virus Woes Overshadow Earnings

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European equities fell for a second day as worries over rising coronavirus cases and the prospect of additional lockdowns outweighed a rebound in some technology stocks and upbeat corporate results.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 1% to the lowest level since May 29 by the close on Tuesday with insurance, energy and carmakers pacing declines. Even positive trading updates from HSBC Holdings Plc, Novartis AG and BP Plc didn’t help sentiment.

The European equity benchmark is set for its worst drop since March this month and the third-quarter earnings season has failed to halt the retreat. Investor concerns over the economic fallout from further lockdown restrictions and uncertainty over the outcome of the U.S. presidential election have weighed on the market in recent weeks.

“It remains to be seen, at this point, what the re-introduction of lockdowns is going to do the outlook for earnings forecasts for 2020 and also the first quarter of 2021,” Alastair George, chief investment strategist at Edison Group, said by phone. “The key factor here is just how many of these lockdowns are going to happen in Spain, Italy, the U.K., France before we get to a point that there’s a vaccine.”

European Stocks Dip to May Low as Virus Woes Overshadow Earnings

HSBC’s shares rallied on Tuesday after the lender indicated it will aim to pay a full-year dividend as losses related to the pandemic ebbed.

BP slumped despite managing to eke out a profit in the third quarter and reassuring investors that it was on the road to recovery. Novartis also declined even as its outlook for the year has improved.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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