European Shares Retreat On Growth Concerns

European stocks were moving lower on Tuesday as investors locked in some profits after recent strong gains on hopes of a relatively quick global economic recovery.

Growth worries swayed market mood after the World Bank warned the global economy will shrink by 5.2 percent this year, representing the deepest recession since the Second World War.

In economic releases, the euro area economy contracted less-than-expected in the first quarter, the latest estimate by Eurostat showed.

The bloc’s quarterly reading came in at -3.6 percent, versus -3.8 percent reported in the preliminary reading.

German exports declined at the sharpest pace since records began in 1950 due to the lockdown measures taken by economies across the globe, data published by Destatis revealed.

Exports decreased 31.1 percent year-on-year in April following a 7.7 percent drop in March. This was the biggest fall since the introduction of foreign trade statistics in 1950.

At the same time, imports decreased 21.6 percent annually after falling 4.4 percent a month ago. The last time imports went down that much was in July 2009 during the global financial crisis.

British retailers reported a sharp fall in annual sales last month, but the figures showed some business recovery since April.

The pan European Stoxx 600 fell 1.4 percent to 368.85 after declining 0.3 percent in the previous session.

The German DAX tumbled 1.8 percent, France’s CAC 40 index declined 1.6 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was down 1.3 percent.

Banks paced the declines, with Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale falling 4-6 percent.

British American Tobacco shares tumbled 3.8 percent. The tobacco group cut its annual profit and revenue forecasts, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in emerging markets.

Housebuilder Bellway fell around 1 percent after saying it had sold about 1,000 fewer homes between August and May.

Software giant Aveva jumped 4 percent as it reported a 22 percent rise in annual profit.

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