European equities edged down on Tuesday as the latest Greek bail-out deal left investors unimpressed.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 came off its recent seven-month high, slipping 0.5 per cent to 1,085.38, amid thin trade.
European banks bore the brunt of the selling. Intesa Sanpaolo fell 2.4 per cent to €1.53 on an otherwise resilient FTSE MIB. Italy’s blue-chip index edged down 0.1 per cent to 16,710.86.
Deutsche Bank slipped 2.1 per cent to €33.85. The Xetra Dax fell 0.6 per cent to 6,908.18.
The Athens General index fell 3.5 per cent to 797.13, with Greek banks leading the way down. Alpha Bank sank 12.2 per cent to €1.59 and National Bank of Greece 9.5 per cent to €2.68.
Elsewhere, broker commentary drove market moves. Renault briefly hit an 11-month high after Citigroup became the latest broker to raise its target price on the stock, increasing it to €46 from €35. The French carmaker reversed its gains throughout the session, however, closing down 0.2 per cent at €41.00.
Its peer, Peugeot, slipped 1 per cent to €14.39. The CAC 40 index as a whole fell 0.2 per cent to 3,465.24.
Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt fell 2.1 per cent to €29.17 after Goldman Sachs downgraded it to “sell” list from “neutral”.
In Frankfurt, Thyssen-Krupp sank 2.7 per cent to €20.80 after analysts at UBS cut the stock to “sell” from “neutral” and forecast “another tough year” for the German steelmaker. UBS removed ArcelorMittal from its “key call” list, lowering the steelmaker’s target price to €29 from €33. ArcelorMittal fell 1.2 per cent to €16.64.
TNT Express fell 2.9 per cent to €9.89 after it reported below consensus fourth-quarter results. The Dutch mail group is the subject of a takeover bid by United Parcel Service.
RBC Capital Markets said results strengthened the case for investors to accept a takeover bid from United Parcel Service or another buyer. “With modest (at best) European growth this year . . . we think shareholders could have a long wait to see the UPS offer (or any other yet to be seen) bettered in a ‘stand alone’ TNT scenario,” the broker said.
The stock gained 60.5 per cent in the previous session, following UPS’s bid.
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