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UPDATE 3-European shares end choppy session lower, Tech outperforms

Tue, 1st Sep 2020 08:47

* STOXX 600 loses for fourth straight session

* Euro zone inflation turns negative in August

* Apple suppliers bolster tech sector

* Strong Chinese factory data helps resource stocks

* British bluechips hit over 3-month closing low
(Updates to market close)

By Ambar Warrick

Sept 1 (Reuters) - European shares fell for a fourth
straight session on Tuesday due to losses in British blue chips
and weak euro zone inflation data, while the technology sector
outperformed on gains in major Apple suppliers.

Apple suppliers in the region rose after the iPhone
maker was reported to have asked suppliers to make at least 75
million 5G phones for later this year, propping up the
technology index.

STMicroelectronics, Dialog Semiconductor,
Infineon Technologies and ASML were up
between 1% and 4%.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended 0.4% lower
after swinging in a range of 0.8% to negative 1%. The benchmark
index has fallen behind its Wall Street peers this year,
sticking to a tight trading range since June amid signs of a
stalling euro zone economic recovery.

The European volatility index rose as much as 1
point to 27.8950 during the session.

Inflation in the bloc turned negative last month for the
first time since May 2016, putting further pressure on the
European Central Bank to inject yet more stimulus to generate
price growth, which has undershot its target for over seven
years.

"The ECB has signalled that they would not like to lower
interest rates any further. So any changes in policy would
likely be to step up purchases of government bonds even
further," said Teeuwe Mevissen, Senior Market Economist at
Rabobank in Amsterdam.

A recovery in local manufacturing activity continued through
August, a survey showed.

Travel and leisure stocks were the worst performing
European sector for the day, as spiking COVID-19 cases in
popular tourist destination Portugal spurred concerns about the
country being quarantined.

British blue-chip stocks fell in catch-up trade
after a holiday on Monday, touching a more than three-month
closing low.

Financial stocks, particularly EU banks, marked a
second straight day of losses. Rabobank's Mevissen said recent
selling in financials was driven by expectations of an increased
amount of bankruptcies in the second half of the year, due to
the impact of the novel coronavirus.

China-sensitive sectors such as basic resources rose
after robust manufacturing data from the country pushed up base
metal prices.

Telecom Italia fell 2.1% after its board approved
a sale of a minority stake in its last-mile grid to U.S.
investment firm KKR, while endorsing a government plan
to create a single ultra-fast network with rival Open Fiber.
(Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh
Kuber and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty; Editing by Ken Ferris/Mark
Heinrich)

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