European stocks rise; BNP Paribas down 4.8%

Stock markets in Europe were hovering around the flatline this Tuesday as earnings and data continue to be the main focus for investors.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.3 percent higher with most sectors trading positive. Basic resources led the gains on higher base and precious metals prices while banking stocks became the worst performers in mid-morning deals on earnings reports.

BNP Paribas posted lower-than-expected net profits in its fourth quarter after a 127 million euro ($135 million) writedown on its Polish branch.

It shares were at the bottom of the European benchmark down by 4.8 percent, only beaten by Pandora and Neste.

Auto stocks recovered from a negative start after French authorities sent an emission case probe to prosecutors involving Fiat Chrysler.

Shares of the carmaker returned trading after being suspended earlier this morning.

BP missed analyst forecasts when reporting earnings of $400 million in the last quarter of 2016.

It was down by 2.9 percent on Tuesday morning. In other oil-related news, the London-listed DCC is set to buy the retail petrol station network of ExxonMobil’s unit in Norway.

DCC was among the best-performing stocks this Tuesday, up by nearly seven percent.

Munich Re announced that earnings dropped in the last quarter of 2016 due to higher costs from storms and earthquakes.

Nonetheless, the firm said that it was able to pay a higher dividend.The German firm dropped 1.2 percent in mid-morning deals.

Housebuilders were moving higher this Tuesday on earnings.

Bellway said that it sold 6.5 percent more homes in the six months to January compared to the same period a year ago.

The British firm is expecting to deliver five percent growth in volumes in the full fiscal year of 2017. Its shares were up by more than 2.9 percent. Barratt Development and Taylor Wimpey were also higher in mid-morning trade.

Meanwhile, the Halifax House Price Index showed Tuesday the first drop in British house prices since the Brexit vote.

According to the mortgage lender, the drop of 0.9 percent in January is the latest sign of a slowing in the housing market.

Investors are showing some signs of concern with the uncertainty of the global political landscape.

The demand for gold continues to rise with prices close to a three-month high on Monday and the Japanese yen is higher against the dollar and the euro.

In terms of data, the British Retail Consortium said Tuesday that U. K. consumers cut back on spending last month as inflation concerns started to mount.

Germany’s industrial output data fell in December by three percent – the highest drop in 8 years. This was mainly driven by a decrease in manufacturing output.

Source: CNBC