EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Struggle As Oil And Bank Shares Are Dragged Down

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Apple shares rise in Frankfurt after earnings beat

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Stocks in Europe ebbed lower Wednesday, as energy shares pulled back alongside a drop in oil prices, while France's Société Générale SA and other bank stocks suffered.

The Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.2% to 379.37, led lower by oil and gas, basic materials and financial stocks. But advancers included consumer services, health care and tech stocks. The pan-European benchmark on Tuesday closed up 0.6%.

Off the main indexes, Frankfurt-listed shares of Apple Inc. jumped 6.3%. The iPhone maker late Tuesday posted fiscal third-quarter earnings that surpassed Wall Street's targets. Read:Apple's earnings-driven gain puts the Dow on pace to top 22,000 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apples-earnings-driven-gain-puts-the-dow-on-pace-to-top-22000-2017-08-02)

Commodities sag: The European basic resources group fell 1.2%, with pressure in part coming from Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO) (RIO) as its shares moved 2% lower. The iron ore producer's first-half underlying earnings rose to $3.9 billion, below a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $4.19 billion. Rio Tinto did say it will buy back a further $1 billion in shares (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rio-tinto-ups-buyback-plans-as-profit-jumps-2017-08-02) and that debt has been reduced.

Meanwhile, oil and gas shares overall were off 0.4% as crude prices slumped 1% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-extends-losses-as-oversupply-fears-return-us-data-loom-2017-08-02). Oil futures dropped late Tuesday after the American Petroleum Institute said U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose last week, by 1.8 million barrels. U.S. government data on weekly supply is due later Wednesday.

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Shares of oil producer Tullow Oil PLC (TLW.LN) were pulled down 2.8% and oil major BP PLC (BP.LN) (BP.LN) was 0.6% lower. Stock in Norwegian oil services company Subsea 7 SA (SUBC.OS) slumped 2.7%.

Stock movers: Société Générale shares (GLE.FR) were shoved down 4.5% after the France's third-largest bank by assets said second-quarter net profit dropped 28% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/societe-generale-net-profit-hit-by-legal-costs-2017-08-02) to 1.06 billion euros ($1.25 billion), hurt by litigation costs and persistently low interest rates.

Standard Chartered PLC (STAN.LN) shares fell 3.9% after the London-listed, Asian-focused lender reported a quarterly profit in the first half, but failed to declare a dividend.

On the upside, shares of William Hill PLC (WMH.LN) rallied 9.4%. The British bookmaker's profit rose in the first half (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/william-hill-profit-rises-sees-progress-in-2017-2017-08-02) and the company struck an optimistic tone about progress for the year.

See:Confusion reigns for investors ahead of Bank of England's 'Super Thursday' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/confusion-reigns-for-investors-ahead-of-bank-of-englands-super-thursday-2017-08-01)

Individual indexes: France's CAC 40 index was off 0.1% at 5,124.59, and Germany's DAX 30 edged up 0.1% to 12,259.57.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 shed 0.2% at 7,409.70, while Spain's IBEX 35 gained 0.1% to 10,597.

The euro traded at $1.1855, up from $1.1802 late Tuesday in New York.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 02, 2017 05:14 ET (09:14 GMT)