European stocks lower; UBS weakens after profit slump

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European stocks lower; UBS weakens after profit slump
Credit: © Reuters.

Investing.com - European stock markets drifted lower Tuesday, with losses in the banking sector weighing ahead of the start of big tech earnings season on Wall Street.

At 04:05 ET (08:05 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.2% lower, the CAC 40 in France dropped 0.7%, and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. fell 0.4%.

The first quarter earnings season is in full swing, with the banking sector to the fore in Europe.

UBS (SIX: UBSG ) stock fell 4.5% after the Swiss lender reported a 52% slide in profit for the first quarter due to a $665 million increase in legal provisions relating to U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities.

UBS is also having to try and incorporate Credit Suisse (SIX: CSGN ) after it was forced to take it over earlier this month, with its former rival logging asset outflows of more than $68 billion during the first quarter. 

Santander (BME: SAN ) stock fell almost 4% after the eurozone’s second-biggest lender in terms of market value reported a very small rise in its net profit in the first quarter, weighed by a weaker performance in Brazil. 

Standard Chartered's (LON: STAN ) CEO Bill Winters warned Monday that the banking sector may face fresh issues, which could “come home to roost in some form of a crisis” even as last month’s turmoil seems to have subsided.

Elsewhere, Novartis (SIX: NOVN ) stock rose 1.8% after the Swiss drugmaker raised its full-year earnings outlook, while Nestle (SIX: NESN ) climbed 1.5% with the world’s largest packaged food company reporting slightly better-than-expected first-quarter sales .

ABB (SIX: ABBN ) stock rose 2.7% after the engineering firm raised its full-year outlook for sales and profit outlook.

Earnings from U.S. tech giants Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) and Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) top the watchlist later Tuesday, ahead of numbers from Facebook-owner Meta (NASDAQ: META ) Platforms, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) later this week.

Investors will be looking for news on cost cutting and job shedding across the industry, as well as their efforts around artificial intelligence.

Andrea Enria , the Chair of the European Central Bank's Supervisory Board, is due to speak later in the session, and investors will be listening for clues as to the future path of the central bank’s monetary policy.

The European Central Bank is widely expected to lift interest rates again in early May, a decision that the central bank’s chief economist, Philip Lane , seemed to confirm in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, published early Tuesday.

Oil prices stabilized Tuesday, with traders weighing a potential recovery in Chinese demand as the second-biggest economy nears a crucial holiday period with the likelihood of more interest rate increases in the West, hitting economic growth.

Bookings in China for trips abroad during the upcoming May Day holiday point to a continued recovery, boosting fuel demand in the world's largest oil importer.

By 04:05 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% higher at $78.83 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.1% to $82.62. 

Additionally, gold futures edged higher to $1,995.95/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.1029.

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