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Europe midday: Stocks slightly lower as investors prepare for earnings

Mon 26 April 2021 10:31 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - European shares were muted at midday on Monday as investors prepared for a raft of major corporate earnings and data from the US this week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index barely moved the needle in early trade, with the benchmark down 0.02% at 438.91, while Germany's DAX had reversed its earlier position as the continent's sole gainer, last 0.18% below the line at 15,253.98.

"Quite apart from a raft of corporate earnings with the tech sector being in particular focus, the latest US GDP reading is expected, while the Federal Reserve meeting could provide further clues on the economic direction they are anticipating," said Interactive Investor head of markets Richard Hunter.

"The data will follow on from more strong readings in factory activity and new housing sales which helped the S&P500 to another record closing high on Friday.

"As comparatives become easier over this quarter and indeed the next, as the full effects of the pandemic last year are lapped in company numbers, a meaningful return towards normality is expected."

Heavyweight US corporate earnings due this week include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet.

Mining shares were boosted by a 10-year high for Shanghai copper prices and a surge in other metals.

Airline shares were higher after the head of the European Commission said that tourists with proof of vaccination may be allowed to resume travel in summer.

"The Americans, as far as I can see, use European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines," said Ursula von der Leyen in an interview with The New York Times on Sunday.

"This will enable free movement and the travel to the European Union."

Shares in Deutsche Lufthansa, easyJet, Ryanair and aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce were higher on the news. Travel Company TUI also gained

In other equity news, Tate & Lyle shares rose as the company confirmed plans to sell a controlling stake in its sweeteners division.

Pearson shares rose as the educational publisher reported a 5% rise in first-quarter revenues.

Shares in IMI were also major gainers as the engineer announced a £200m share buyback and raised its guidance for annual earnings after group performance improved in the first quarter.

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