- European markets followed a pattern of uncertain sentiment around the world amid rising Covid-19 cases in multiple countries.
- British American Tobacco led a decline in tobacco stocks after a report that the Biden administration is considering whether to cap nicotine levels in cigarettes.
- On the data front, U.K. unemployment fell unexpectedly for a second consecutive month to 4.9% in the period to the end of February.
LONDON — European stocks finished in negative territory on Tuesday with global markets all showing lackluster sentiment.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session down by 1.9%, with travel and bank shares both dropping 3.7% to lead losses as all sectors and major bourses declined.
European markets are following a pattern of uncertain sentiment around the world as rising Covid-19 cases in multiple countries resurface concerns about stock valuations. India, which has seen a resurgence in cases of late, reported more than 200,000 infections for the sixth consecutive day Tuesday.
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On Wall Street, stocks fell for a second day on Tuesday as strong corporate earnings failed to boost a market already near record highs. Earnings season continues in the U.S. Tuesday with streaming giant Netflix set to report after the bell.
Meanwhile, shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday trade as China kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged, with Japanese stocks leading losses among the region's major markets.
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Investors in Europe are keeping an eye on earnings reports in the region. Danone posted a 3.3% fall in first-quarter sales but maintained its goal of returning to profitable growth in the second half of the year. The French food group's shares slid 1.8% by the close.
AB Foods shares fell 5.9% after adjusted operating profit almost halved from the same period last year.
British American Tobacco slumped 7.6%, leading a broad decline for tobacco companies after a report that the Biden administration is considering a requirement for reduced nicotine content in all cigarettes sold in the U.S. Imperial brands also fell 7.3%.
At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Austrian chipmaker AMS plunged 12.9% after a media report that it lost some business from U.S. tech giant Apple, while Swiss Re slid 7.5% after entering into a partnership with Veoneer to advance assessment and development of ADAS technology.
On the opposite end of the pan-European benchmark, Czech antivirus software maker Avast rose 1.3% after a promising first-quarter trading update.
On the data front, U.K. unemployment fell unexpectedly for a second consecutive month to 4.9% in the period to the end of February, despite tight nationwide Covid-19 lockdown measures, the Office for National Statistics figures showed Tuesday.
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