European Stocks Edge Higher, Tech Shares Lose Ground

StocksDow Jones Newswires

European stocks edged higher Tuesday, as energy shares moved up, but technology shares lost ground while investors assessed mixed data from Germany, the eurozone's largest economy.

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The Stoxx Europe 600 was up a modest 0.1%. While oil and gas stocks were putting in the best performance, technology, finance and basic materials shares were in the red.

The index on Monday rose 0.2%, but ended off session highs as oil prices turned sharply lower as investors continued to cast doubt about OPEC reaching a production-cut deal this month.

But West Texas Intermediate prices on Tuesday leapt nearly 3% to trade above $44 a barrel, providing a boost for energy shares.

Shares of Portuguese oil producer Galp Energia jumped 4%, Neste picked up 2.5% and Norwegian offshore engineer Subsea 7 gained 4.4%.

But Nokia shares were the biggest losers in the technology basket. They lost 4.5% after the Finnish telecom-equipment maker said it expects its networks business to decline further next year. It also said it's planning to ramp up cost-savings as it grapples with weak demand and heavy competition.

BTG Group shares fell 4.6% after the pharmaceutical company posted a steep fall in pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2017 after booking one-off costs. Revenue, however, rose.

Merck shares rose 1% as the German pharmaceuticals and chemicals company reported a nearly 26% rise in third-quarter profit and raised its guidance for the full year.

Germany's gross domestic product in the third quarter expanded 0.3% from the previous three months, according to a flash reading, but that was slower than the 0.2% estimate from a FactSet survey of economists.

Meanwhile, the closely watched ZEW survey showed German economic sentiment rose in November, with a reading of 13.8 outstripping expectations of 8.9.

The initial reading of third-quarter eurozone GDP was in line with expectations, with growth coming in at 0.3% quarter-over-quarter.

In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 dipped 0.1%. France's CAC 40 was up 0.3%.

So-called peripheral markets were mixed. Spain's IBEX 35 was up 0.3%, but had been lower earlier. Italy's FTSE MIB was down 0.2%.

On investors' minds concerning Italy is the country's Dec. 4 referendum on constitutional reform, and a defeat for Prime Minister Mateo Renzi's Democratic Party would make more difficult for the government to pass fiscal reforms.

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