Tech, healthcare weakness drives European shares lower

(Reuters) – European stocks eased from a two-week high on Tuesday as a slide in technology and healthcare stocks along with mixed corporate updates tempered optimism about a U.S. stimulus package that bolstered Wall Street indexes overnight.

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Staff

The pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX slipped 0.4%, with the German DAX .GDAXI and France’s CAC 40 .FCHI down about 0.3%, while London’s FTSE 100 .FTSE fell 0.5%. [.L]

Global markets saw a relief rally as U.S. President Donald Trump was discharged from the hospital following treatment for COVID-19 and the prospects for a fresh U.S. stimulus package appeared to brighten. [MKTS/GLOB]

“While it is more than possible that Trump’s case of COVID-19 will return to the top of the table at some point, presently his discharge has left the markets looking a bit aimless,” Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at Spreadex wrote.

Technology .SX8P and healthcare stocks .SXDP, among the top performers in Europe this year, led the declines.

Wall Street’s tech-heavy Nasdaq futures NQcv1 came under pressure after a draft seen by Reuters showed that a U.S. House’s antitrust report on Big Tech firms contains a “thinly veiled call to break up” the companies.

Meanwhile in Europe, a newspaper reported that Scotland is looking to impose a two-week mini lockdown from Friday, while Spain became the first Western European nation to surpass a tally of 800,000 COVID-19 cases.

Puma PUMG.DE slid 2.4% after French luxury group Kering PRTP.PA said it had completed the sale of a 5.9% stake in the German sportswear group.

Swiss technology accessories make Logitech LOGN.S fell 6% after Bloomberg reported that Apple AAPL.O had stopped selling headphones and wireless speakers from rivals.

French waste and water firm Suez SEVI.PA jumped 4.4% after rival Veolia VIE.PA succeeded in buying 29.9% of the company owned by power group Engie ENGIE.PA.

Shares of Veolia and Engie rose nearly 1% each.

Sweden’s Telia TELIA.ST gained 5.4% after it agreed to sell its international carrier business, Telia Carrier, to Polhem Infra for 9,450 million SEK ($1.06 billion).

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