By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – European stock markets edged lower Wednesday, handing back some of the gains from the previous session after food delivery company Deliveroo’s float disappointed.
At 4 AM ET (0900 GMT), the in Germany traded flat, the in France fell 0.1% and the U.K.’s index dropped 0.3%.
European stocks posted strong gains Tuesday, with the CAC 40 and Amsterdam’s hitting a new 52-week high and the DAX topping 15,000 points for the first time.
However, this positive tone hasn’t lasted long as the region struggles to cope with a surge of new coronavirus cases, which has caused many countries to tighten restrictive measures, mindful of their lack of progress in vaccinating their populations.
French President Emmanuel Macron will deliver a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening, after the country’s health ministry said on Tuesday that the number of people in intensive care units with COVID-19 had reached the highest level this year. The number of new cases increased 6.3% on the week, the sharpest rise since the end of November.
In the corporate sector, Deliveroo stock fell as much as 30% from the IPO price after making one of the most anticipated London stock market listings, the largest float on the London Stock Exchange since Glencore (OTC:) in May 2011.
Peers Just Eat Takeaway (AS:) and Delivery Hero (DE:) fell 0.8% and 1.1%, respectively.
H&M (ST:) stock slipped 1.2% after the Swedish retailer reported a quarterly loss and said it would not propose a dividend at its annual general meeting.
Capgemini (PA:) stock rose 1.7% after the French consulting and IT services provider raised its mid-term margin targets on Wednesday, while Daimler (OTC:) stock rose 0.1% after the German car manufacturer repeated that it expects 2021 to be a significantly better year for revenue and pretax profits than 2020. The guidance is almost equivalent to an upgrade, given that the global shortage of semiconductor chips has appeared to worsen since it first made that forecast.
In economic news, U.K. grew by 1.3% between October and December last year from the previous three-month period, an improvement from an earlier estimate of 1.0% growth, while the German remained at 6.0% in March.
Oil prices rose Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, which is set to decide production levels into May. OPEC’s technical experts trimmed their forecast for global demand growth this year on Tuesday, to 5.6 million barrels a day, from 5.9 million previously.
Data from the industry group on Tuesday showed oil stocks rose by 3.9 million barrels in the week to March 26, well above expectations. The will release its equivalent figures later Wednesday.
U.S. crude futures traded 0.4% higher at $60.77 a barrel, while the contract rose 0.4% to $64.45.
Elsewhere, fell 0.2% to $1,683.45/oz, while traded 0.2% higher at 1.1732.
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