European Markets Open at Close: Global Sentiment Turns Cautious

LONDON — European markets fell slightly on Tuesday, tracking global risk aversion sentiment as investors assess whether last month’s rally has yet to continue.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 tentatively closed 0.2% lower, with financial services stocks shedding 1.7% to lead the losses as most sectors and major exchanges slipped into negative territory.

Oil and gas stocks were among those that bucked the trend, adding 0.7%.

The European blue chip index ended Monday’s trading session slightly lower to start August, having closed its best month since November 2020.

Earnings remain a key driver of individual stock price performance. BP, Ferrari, Maersk and Uniper were among the big European companies to publish their results.

British oil giant BP raised its dividend as it posted bumper second-quarter profits, benefiting from soaring commodity prices. Underlying second-quarter replacement cost profit, used as an indicator of net profit, was $8.5 billion. BP shares soared nearly 3% on the news.

Leading the Stoxx 600, Dutch chemicals company OCI gained more than 7% after a strong second quarter earnings release.

At the bottom of the index, shares of British builder trader Travis Perkins fell more than 8.7% after the company reported lower first-half profits.

Asia-Pacific stocks fell overnight, with mainland China markets dragging losses as geopolitical tensions mounted following a possible visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.

U.S. stock futures fell on Tuesday after falling earlier in the month as not all investors were convinced the pain of risky assets is truly over.

The dollar and long-term U.S. Treasury yields fell on concerns over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and weak data out of the United States, where Monday’s data showed manufacturing activity had weakened in June, heightening fears of a global recession.

Oil also fell as manufacturing data showed weakness in several major economies.

The first Ukrainian ship – bound for Lebanon – to carry grain across the Black Sea since the Russian invasion left the port of Odessa on Monday under a safe passage agreement, offering some hope in the face to a worsening global food crisis.

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