European stocks retreat on thin trading

Markets yet to digest North Korea missile move

Traders work in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany.

Traders work in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany.

 

European stocks retreated for the third time in four sessions on thin trading volume, with geopolitics in focus after North Korea said it successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.2 per cent in London, after rebounding on Monday from a two-month low. The volume of shares traded was a fifth lower than the 30-day average, with US markets closed for the 4th of July holiday. Miners and technology shares, among the best performers in the past 12 months, led losses on Tuesday.

Ahead of the earnings season that kicks off this month, analysts have started lowering their expectations for corporate earnings both in Europe and globally. Gains in macroeconomic data may be peaking, according to JPMorgan Chase strategists.

North Korea’s move risks an escalation with the state’s neighbours and the US. over its weapons programme. The missile launch comes ahead of a planned meeting this week between US president Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Germany.

Among shares moving on corporate news, Clariant AG rose 3.4 per cent after two US investment managers said they built a stake in the firm and are pushing it to explore alternatives to its planned $6.4 billion takeover of Huntsman .

- Bloomberg