EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Slip As Health-care Stocks Fall Back After Earnings

By Carla Mozee and Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

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European stocks ended a bouncy day in negative territory on Tuesday, as traders digested a mixed bag of earnings reports, with health-care stocks and Merlin Entertainments PLC the hardest hit after results.

Shares of Credit Suisse Group AG shares gained on reports an activist investor is seeking a breakup of the Swiss bank after acquiring a stake.

What shares are doing: The Stoxx Europe 600 lost 0.3% to end at 390.44, after swinging between gains and losses for most of the session. On Monday, the benchmark closed flat (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/spanish-stocks-dragged-down-by-catalonia-uncertainty-sapping-european-benchmark-2017-10-16).

Health-care stocks suffer: Among biggest decliners on Tuesday, Sartorius AG slid 7.6% after the German medical products company cut its 2017 outlook.

Genmab AS (GEN.KO) gave up 6.2% after Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) said sales of the two's joint-venture cancer drug Darzalex was weaker than expected.

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Mediclinic International PLC (MDC.LN) slumped 4.4%. The U.K. private hospital operator warned that earnings could be dented by disappointing performance in its Africa and Middle Eastern operations.

Other stocks to watch: Merlin Entertainments PLC (MERL.LN) tumbled 16%. The theme park operator reported that its year-to-date comparable-revenue growth was flat, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/merlin-says-revenue-hit-by-weather-terror-attacks-2017-10-17) saying its London sites were hurt by bad weather and the effect of terrorist attacks.

Airbus SE (AIR.FR) rose 4.8% as the French aircraft maker and Bombardier Inc. (BBD.A.T) on Monday agreed to a joint venture (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bombardier-may-partner-with-airbus-on-cseries-jetliners-2017-10-16). Airbus will acquire a 50.01% stake in Bombardier CSeries jets.

Pearson PLC shares (PSON.LN) rallied 7.3% after the educational materials publisher raised the lower end of its full-year earnings outlook.

Good day for banks: Credit Suisse (CSGN.EB) advanced 1.2% as Swiss hedge fund RBR Capital Advisors AG said it bought a stake in the Swiss bank (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/activist-rbr-capital-buys-stake-in-credit-suisse-2017-10-17). A local press report had said RBR is seeking to break up Credit Suisse (https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/credit-suisse-facing-break-up-calls-from-activist-investor-20171017?mod=mktw).

Meanwhile, U.K.-listed banks were higher as prospects for a U.K. rate hike picked up after inflation accelerated to 3% in September. That was the highest rate since early 2012.

Barclays PLC (BCS)(BCS) climbed 1.1%, while Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.LN) (LLOY.LN) added 1.1%. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS.LN) (RBS.LN) , however, slipped 0.3%.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index ended 0.1% lower at 7,516.17. The pound slumped to $1.3180 from $1.3250 late Monday in New York as traders focused more on Prime Minister Theresa May failing to break the deadlock in Brexit talks than on the prospect for higher interest rates.

Catalan crisis persists: In Madrid, the IBEX 35 ended a choppy day 0.4% higher even as uncertainty swirls around the Catalan region's stance on officially declaring independence from Spain.

"We downgrade Spain [stocks] from Bullish to modestly Bearish.There are simply no positive catalysts," said Sean Darby, chief global equity strategist at Jefferies, in a research note published Tuesday.

Other indexes: Germany's DAX 30 index fell 0.1% to 12,995.06, a day after closing above the 13,000 mark for the first time. The German ZEW survey showed a rise in economic expectations to 17.6 in October, from the 17.0 registered in September, but that still missed forecasts for a gain to 20.4.

France's CAC 40 index closed marginally lower at 5,361.37.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 17, 2017 12:26 ET (16:26 GMT)