Cyprus Mail
Banking and Finance

London and European stocks slip from recent highs


London-listed shares retreated on Tuesday as investors booked profits after a strong rally in the previous session, with a surge in U.S. coronavirus cases also weighing on sentiment.

The export-laden FTSE 100 was down 0.9% after marking its best session in nearly three weeks on Monday in the wake of a jump in Chinese blue-chip stocks.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 fell 0.4%, with banks , pharmaceutical and construction stocks leading declines.

Newspaper publisher Reach tumbled 10.8% and was set for its worst day in more than three months as it said it would cut about 550 jobs — 12% of its workforce — after the COVID-19 pandemic hit circulation and advertising.

In a bright spot, online trading platform Plus500 jumped 5.7% to the top of the FTSE 250 after saying revenue in the first-half nearly quadrupled.

European shares slipped as investors locked in gains following a rally in the previous session on China’s move to prop up its market, with surging U.S. coronavirus cases also weighing on the mood.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.7% by 0713 GMT, falling back from a near one-month high.

Retail investors rushed to join an officially sanctioned bull market in China, a major trading partner of Europe, driving Shanghai-listed shares to a five-year high and sparking optimism across global markets on Monday.

Banks, which had surged 4% in the previous session, fell 2%, while energy firms also dragged the market lower as oil prices slid on concerns over a recovery in fuel demand.

Among individual movers, Heidelbergcement dropped 2% after the company said a review of its assets had forced it to book an impairment of 3.2 billion euros due to the fallout of the pandemic.

French catering and food services group Sodexo slipped 1.5% as it forecast fourth-quarter and half-year sales to fall harder than previously expected due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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