Europe closes down amid earnings; Moller-Maersk lower by over 7%; oil and gas up 0.68%

European stocks closed Tuesday’s trade lower as investors monitored a fresh batch of corporate earnings.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed lower by 0.39 percent, with major bourses and most sectors in the red.

The retail sector was down 0.9 percent. Online clothing retailer Zalando was the worst performing stock, trading over 5 percent lower. This came after the German company warned its full-year operating profit margin would be lower than expected after weak October business and ongoing heavy investment in logistics.

Danish shipping firm Moller-Maersk was the worst performing company on the Stoxx 600, with its shares down over 7 percent. The world’s largest container shipping group cut the profit forecast for its core business following a cyber attack and a weaker than anticipated third quarter.

Dialog Semiconductor was also one of the worst performing companies in the Stoxx 600 after the firm reported a cautious outlook for the final three months of the year. The Anglo-German chipmaker, which also makes chips for Samsung electronics, posted a 4 percent increase in third-quarter adjusted operating profit. Its shares were nearly 7 percent lower.

Danish jewelry maker Pandora said its projected full-year earnings would be at the lower end of the forecast range due to a challenging retail environment — most notably in its U.S market. Pandora’s shares closed nearly 3.5 percent lower Tuesday afternoon.

Oil and gas was one of the few sectors that closed positively, up 0.68 percent. Oil prices were supported Tuesday as Saudi Arabia’s crown prince moved to tighten his grip on power amid rising tensions between the Kingdom and Iran. U.K.-based companies TechnipFMC and Tullow Oil led the sector in afternoon trade, both closing up approximately 3 percent.

Stateside, the media sector shined as investor sentiment was boosted by potential deal-making. Disney and 21st Century Fox’s stocks are up for a second straight day as the companies have been in talks, though there is no certainty that a deal will get done.

Elsewhere, President Donald Trump called on countries from around the world to act with a sense of “great determination” in order to restrain North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Speaking at a joint press conference in Seoul Tuesday alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump said, “North Korea is a worldwide threat that requires worldwide action.”

The U.S. leader is currently on a five-nation tour of Asia and the ongoing geopolitical uncertainty regarding the Korean peninsula is expected to be high on the agenda throughout. Trump will visit China, Vietnam and the Philippines over the coming week.

Source: CNBC