European Markets Open Lower markets

European Markets Open Lower

The European markets opened lower on Tuesday, weighed by the downbeat sentiment in the U.S. and Asia overnight. Investors stayed cautious before a fresh batch of corporate earnings reports.

The EURO STOXX 50 went down 0.28 percent and CAC 40 in France dropped 0.11 percent, while DAX 30 in Germany eased down 0.33 percent.

The U.S. and Asia markets were pressured lower amid growing caution as U.S. President Donald Trump was set to speak in Congress for his first official State of the Union address.

The market participants were looking ahead to the upcoming policy decision of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday for potential indications on the pace of interest rate hikes this year. The U.S. central bank is widely expected to raise its rates three times this year.

Meanwhile, the financial stocks were mixed, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe General decreased 0.54 percent and 0.85 percent respectively, while Deutsche Bank lost 1.39 percent and Commerzbank gained 0.15 percent in Germany.

Among the peripheral lenders, Italy’s Unicredit went up 0.17 percent and Intesa Sanpaol retreated 0.64 percent, while BBVA, a Spanish bank, and Banco Santander tumbled 0.90 percent and 1.21 percent respectively.

In earning news, Koninklijke Philips NV reported a 9 percent increase in fourth-quarter adjusted profit. However, the shares in the Dutch company were still down 2.51 percent in early European trade.

In London, the commodity-heavy Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 fell 0.37 percent, weighing sharp losses in the mining sector.

The shares in Antofagasta lost 1.41 percent and Glencore tumbled 1.56 percent, while BHP Billiton and Anglo American dropped 1.56 percent and 2.61 percent respectively.

Also on the downside are the financial stocks, as HSBC Holdings drop 0.30 percent and Lloyds Banking collapsed 0.94 percent, while Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland lost 1.03 percent and 1.60 percent respectively.

On the other hand, BAE Systems was one of the top performers in the index, with shares increasing 1.02 percent, and closely followed by Royal Mail whose shares scaled 0.88 percent.

According to Royal Mail, it reached an agreement last week with its main trade union following a fight over pensions, pay, and working conditions.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.54 percent fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.34 percent slip, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.40 percent drop.

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Allison W. Bennett | January 30, 2018