European stocks turn lower as political uncertainty takes center stage


The pan-European Stoxx 600 was off by 0.38 percent with the various sectors trading mostly lower. Autos and basic resources dropped the most in mid-morning deals. Overall, stock performances are struggling to make gains amid fears over global economic growth and rising interest rates in the U.S.

Looking at individual companies, shares in LVMH were down by 3.9 percent after reporting some deceleration in sales. Other luxury brands were also below the flatine, with Dior off by 3 percent and Kering down by 5 percent. According to Reuters, Morgan Stanley cut EU luxury goods sector rating to “underweight”.

Vat Group dropped to the bottom of the benchmark after announcing that it will shorten the working hours for 400 production workers in the Hague.

In other corporate news, U.S. cable giant Comcast’s $40 billion offer for British broadcaster Sky is now unconditional, the firm said Tuesday, after having acquired 77 percent of Sky’s shares.

Shares in Italian banks remain in the radar, as investors follow the budget plans of the anti-establishment government. Fears linger of a standoff between Rome and the European Union over the country’s 2019 budget.

Giovanni Tria, Italy’s finance minister, promised on Tuesday the government would do what is necessary to restore calm if market jitters turn into a crisis. However, Deputy Prime Ministers Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini stood their ground on the country’s budget and deficit plans.

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