EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Pulled Lower By Slide In Apple Suppliers
By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
Index on track for first loss in six sessions
European stocks pulled back Wednesday as London-listed shares sold off, while losses for Apple Inc. suppliers helped push the regional benchmark toward its first loss in six sessions.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 0.3% to 380.37. All sectors printed losses, led by the basic materials, health care and consumer goods groups. On Tuesday, the benchmark rose 0.5% , marking a fifth straight rise and the longest run of wins since April, according to FactSet data.
"We are now seeing a decline in European equities as traders take their profits," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, in a note. "The positive run at the beginning of the week on the back of stalling tensions surrounding North Korea, and Hurricane Irma not being as destructive as initially expected, has run out of steam."
Apple bites: Contributing to the downward move were losses in shares of suppliers to Apple Inc. (>> Apple) after the launch of its new iPhone models on Tuesday. Apple revealed its new $1,000 iPhone X smartphone won't factor into its current fiscal year , as it will be released on Nov. 3. Frankfurt-listed shares of Apple were off 0.9%.
Pound pressure: The Stoxx 600 was feeling the weight of a selloff in London-listed blue-chips as strength in the pound piled on pressure. Sterling traded at its highest in a year, above $1.33, during the session. The currency fell after U.K. wage-growth figures came in lower than expected, but the FTSE 100 was still down 0.5% at 7,361.71.
Stock movers: Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA shares (>> Compagnie Financière Richemont) lost 1.6% even as the Swiss luxury products maker posted a 12% rise in sales. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 10% increase. Shares of rival luxury watch goods maker Swatch Group Ltd. (>> The Swatch Group) fell 2.9%.
Vivendi SA (>> Vivendi) gained 1.9% after UBS raised its rating on the French media company to buy from neutral.
Juncker's trade push: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called for the European Union to hold free-trade talks with Australia and New Zealand in his annual state of the EU address Wednesday.
The move is seen as reflecting the EU's ambitions to fill a gap in global leadership left by U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist policies.
Country indexes: Germany's DAX 30 index slipped 0.1% to 12,509.47, and France's CAC 30 index gave up 0.1% to 5,206.35. Spain's IBEX 35 shed 0.1% at 10,322.10.