European Shares See Second Day of Declines as US Trade Deficit Widens
LONDON -- European equity markets are seeing a second day in the red Tuesday, suffering ahead of a raft of economic data that may represent risk over the next few days. Some of the benchmark indexes managed to pare back a little of the morning's losses after the U.S. trade data showed the trade deficit widening by 0.2% in July -- less than expected, but still the first such deficit in four months. While investors await the court decision on Germany's participation in the European rescue fund, the country's DAX (INDEX: ^GDAXI) is holding flat.
As always, the following price moves are based on this morning's European trading.
The U.K.'s Burberry Group (NASDAQOTH: BURBY.PK) is in the headlines today, down 20% after it said its full-year profit numbers will be disappointing because of slowing sales growth globally. The U.K.'s largest luxury goods maker said profit through March will be at the lower end of analyst estimates, hitting the industry as a whole on concerns that the company's rivals face the same problems as Burberry.
Elsewhere, Spain's Engas (NASDAQOTH: ENGGY.PK) is down almost 8% after an investor in the company sold a 5% stake at a discount. According to a filing today, Sagane Inversiones sold its stake at 14.70 euros per share for a total of 175.5 million euros, and at one point today Engas shares saw such a sharp decline that the exchange suspended them from trading during the morning.
Meanwhile, on a more positive note, Finnish cellphone maker Nokia (NYS: NOK) is once again seeing a strong performance today, rallying more than 3.5% as an influx of buying helps the company's share price. This follows the release last week of a new Lumia handset, which the company hopes will help sales of its flagging smartphone range pick up.
The move came ahead of tomorrow's release by rival firm Apple of its latest iPhone. Nokia hoped the early release of its Lumia 920 phone would offer it an early advantage in the highly competitive smartphone market.
Last week's release did see some controversy, however, after a promotional video for the new handsets included video clips and still photos that, although they suggested such, were not actually taken using the phone. One of the key selling points of the latest handset is the media and camera functions, so this mistake was seen to promote the strength of these aspects unfairly. Yesterday Nokia said it would appoint an ethics officer to look into how this happened.
As always, this morning's European news saw some winners and losers -- and perhaps some European buying opportunities. Indeed, legendary investor Warren Buffett has recently spent more than $1 billion buying the stock of a prominent European large cap.
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