European stocks set for lower open on North Korea tensions; Novo Nordisk reports

Big 5

European equities are set to open lower on Wednesday as geopolitical concerns curbed investor sentiment.

The FTSE 100 is seen off by 33 points at 7,506; the DAX is seen down by 73 points at 12,217 and the CAC 40 is set to open lower by 36 points at 5,179.

Tensions between North Korea and the United States have escalated to an unprecedented level after President Donald Trump warned the former would be “met with fire and fury” if it continued its threats. Pyongyang replied it was “carefully examining” a plan to strike Guam, where a U.S. military base is located. Thus, investors were shifting from stocks to safe-haven options such as the yen, gold and U.S. Treasurys.

Meanwhile, in the corporate world, Novo Nordisk, Ahold Delhaize and E.ON are due to report. ABN AMRO reported strong figures on Wednesday morning with a better-than-expected underlying net profit of 960 million euros ($1.13 billion) in the second quarter of the year.

France’s energy group Engie is reportedly in talks to purchase a wind power plant based in Brazil from Renova, according to Reuters. Elsewhere, the European Commission has approved Santander’s plans to buy Banco Popular in Spain.

In commodity markets, oil prices fell despite lower U.S. inventories data. Brent was down 0.4 percent at $51.93 and WTI was off by 0.3 percent at $49.03. This is due to increased doubts over OPEC and non-OPEC’s ability to fully comply with their output cut deal. Source: CNBC