European stocks retreat as autos, travel and tech stocks fall

Noble Horvath

European markets had initially taken heart from Thursday’s late rally on Wall Street, led by a bounce for tech stocks, but the positive sentiment seemingly fizzled out during the morning session. European stocks pulled back on Friday as investors continue to monitor coronavirus developments and the prospects of economic recovery. […]

  • European markets had initially taken heart from Thursday’s late rally on Wall Street, led by a bounce for tech stocks, but the positive sentiment seemingly fizzled out during the morning session.

European stocks pulled back on Friday as investors continue to monitor coronavirus developments and the prospects of economic recovery.

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The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.9% by late morning, with autos shedding 2.1% and both the travel and tech sectors dropping 1.8% as most sectors and major bourses slid into the red.

Europe’s markets received a mixed handover from Asia Pacific, where strong gains for Australia’s “Big Four” banks led a rally for the S&P/ASX 200 on Friday, while the rest of the region was relatively muted.

Stateside, Dow futures also reversed course to point to a negative open later in the day. European markets had initially taken heart from Thursday’s late rally on Wall Street, led by a bounce for tech stocks, but the positive sentiment seemingly fizzled out during the morning session.

The prospect of further U.S. stimulus remains a key focus, with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin telling Congress on Thursday that $380 billion left over from the country’s last federal aid package could be used to help households and businesses if lawmakers sign off.

House Democrats are preparing a $2.4 trillion relief package that they could vote on as soon as next week, a source familiar with the plans told CNBC. The package would include airline aid and enhanced unemployment benefits, but the price tag far exceeds that Republicans have said they would pay.

Back in Europe, Airbus is set to reaffirm its jet output despite uncertainty over the duration and lasting effects of the coronavirus crisis, Reuters reported Thursday citing industry sources.

BMW and two of its U.S. subsidiaries have agreed to pay a fine of $18 million over allegations of inflating sales volumes to attract corporate bond investment.

French prosecutors have opened an investigation into BNP Paribas over its role in crimes against humanity in Sudan, the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) announced on Thursday.

In terms of individual share price action Friday, French utility company Suez added 4% after rival Veolia’s CEO announced plans to raise its bid for a stake in the company. Sartorius Stedim Biotech gained 3.5% after Berenberg initiated the stock at a “buy” rating.

At the bottom of the Stoxx 600, with British Airways parent IAG and Germany’s Lufthansa fell 5.4% and 4.8% respectively.

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