Euro zone shares rose on Tuesday, bolstered by another day of gains for tech and retail sectors, while gains on Britain’s top indices were weighed down by a few dour corporate updates. Euro zone blue chips rose 0.4 percent while the broader regional index was up 0.3 percent. The swift rebound in tech stocks over the past week lifted Wall Street to another record high overnight. In Europe, Germany’s Prosiebensat 1 led gains among media stocks after it sold its online travel agency Etraveli to CVC.
In the UK, gains on the FTSE 100, the worst performing major benchmark in Europe this year, were held in check by weakness in Wolseley and BT. UK midcaps were little changed. Shares in Wolseley, a plumbing and heating supplier, fell 3.4 percent after its quarterly results. The firm saw sales growth in all its regions except the UK, another indication Britons are cutting back on big ticket spending, and analysts at Liberum and Davy Research also said eroding margins in its U.S. were disappointing.
BT fell 1.6 percent after France’s Orange said it could get $1.15 billion by cutting its stake in the British telecoms company. A downgrade to ‘neutral’ from BAML on Monday also weighed on the firm. Barclays was in focus after the bank and four former senior executives were criminally charged in an investigation into undisclosed payments to Qatari investors during a 12 billion pound emergency fund raising in 2008.
The highly-anticipated announcement left Barclays shares near unchanged, however, down just 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, British workspace company IWG fell 6.5 percent on the mid-cap index, set for its worst day in nine months, after Estorn Limited placed 27 million shares in the company for sale at 345.1 pence per share.