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European stocks open lower in risk-off trade; Dax down 0.21%

Stock MarketsAug 10, 2017 03:33AM ET
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© Reuters. Frankfurt Stock Exchange - European stocks opened lower on Thursday, as concerns over global geopolitical tensions persisted, while fresh earnings reports were set to be released.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 slid 0.26%, France’s CAC 40 edged 0.18% lower, while Germany’s DAX 30 fell 0.21%.

Investors remained cautious as tensions between and Washington and Pyongyang remained high, with North Korea's state media saying on Thursday the country will develop a plan by mid-August to launch intermediate-range missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam.

The comments came after U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier in the week that North Korea would be "met with fire and fury" if it continued its threats.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) declined 0.46% and 0.24%, while Germany’s Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) and Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) dropped 0.58% and 0.30%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) and Unicredit (MI:CRDI) lost 0.07% and 0.56% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (MC:SAN) and BBVA (MC:BBVA) retreated 0.58% and 0.72%.

Intesa Sanpaolo earlier announced plans to buy the Swiss private bank Banque Morval for an amount between €150 million to €200 million.

In earnings news, Thyssenkrupp AG (DE:TKAG) shares surged 2.11% after the German industrial group said net profit fell in the third quarter of fiscal 2017, due in part to the sale of a Brazilian steel mill.

Belgian multi-channel bank KBC Group SA (OTC:KBCSY) posted a 36% increase in net profit to €855 million in the second quarter, helped by economic growth and lower operating expenses.

In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 declined 0.69%, weighed by sharp losses in the mining sector.

Shares in Glencore (LON:GLEN) tumbled 1.72% and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) lost 2.17%, while rival company Anglo American (LON:AAL) plummeted 2.79%.

Earlier Thursday, Glencore said that first-half profits improved but the mining giant still kept its dividend unchanged at $1 billion for the year.

Financial stocks were also broadly lower, as Barclays (LON:BARC) dropped 0.41% and HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) retreated 1.29%, while Lloys Banking lost 1.81%. The Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) held steady, with shares inching up just 0.03%.

Meanwhile, Coca Cola HBC AG (LON:CCH) was the top performer on the index, with shares up 9.10% after the beverage company’s bottling plant operator reported an increase in first-half earnings, thanks to strong volume growth, price increases and improved packaging.

Worldpay Group PLC (LON:WPG) added to gains, as shares rallied 1.34%, still supported by news on Wednesday that U.S. credit card processing company Vantiv agreed to buy the British group for £8 billion.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.15% slip, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.25% fall, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.38% decline.

European stocks open lower in risk-off trade; Dax down 0.21%

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