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Europe midday: Shares turn negative on US tech sell-off signal, Brexit

Tue, 8th Sep 2020 12:03

(Sharecast News) - European shares turned negative in midday trade on indications that tech stocks could once again be sold off when US markets opened later and more concerns about Britain's belligerent stance on Brexit trade talks.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 had slipped further after a softer opening, down 1.26% as all markets on the continent moved into red territory.

London's FTSE 100 was down was 0.47% at 5,909, while the pound was down 0.2% against the dollar at 1.3138, having fallen sharply on Monday amid worries about a hard Brexit as Downing Street made increasingly strident suggestions that it would override the Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union.

Futures contracts on the tech-heavy US Nasdaq 100 indicated a fall at the opening of up to 2%.

In corporate news, French electricity giant EDF led the fallers, with shares down more than 8% after thye company said nuclear output fell 17.6% in August due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and reactor outages.

Builders' merchant Travis Perkins fell after it swung to a first-half loss as revenue fell due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares in Royal Mail surged to the top of the leader board as the company reported a "substantial shift" in its business from letters to parcels in its first five months, with parcel volumes up 34%, or 177 million more parcels, and revenue up 33.1% year-on-year.

JD Sports Fashion was also a major gainer as it forecast annual pre-tax profits of at least £265m, scrapped its interim dividend and reported a slump in half-year earnings.

Packaging company DS Smith was in the black after saying it will pay an interim dividend as trading has improved.

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