European shares ended lower on Tuesday, failing to shrug off fears of higher interest rates amid a burgeoning energy crisis and looming recession.
After rising as much as 1%, the pan-European STOXX 600 (.STOXX) index erased all gains by the end of the session to fall 0.7%, bringing declines in the last three sessions to over 3% as a hawkish tone struck by European Central Bank (ECB) speakers and U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell bumped up rate expectations.
While most sectors in Europe fell, banks (.SX7P), which tend to benefit from higher interest rate environments, rose 0.9% after traders priced in more than a two-thirds chance of a 75-basis-point move at the ECB’s Sept. 8 policy meeting. ECBWATCH
“An upbeat European morning has soon turned swiftly around today, with the afternoon seeing sharp declines across both sides of the Atlantic,” said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at online trading platform IG. “Unfortunately, markets will be at risk for some time yet, with inflationary pressures ensuring that rates remain higher for longer.”
Fears lingered about a planned three-day halt of natural gas supplies to Europe by Russian energy company Gazprom (GAZP.MM) via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline which was set to kick off on Wednesday.
On Monday, ahead of the halt, German economy minister Robert Habeck said the country faces the “bitter reality” that Russia will not restore gas supplies to Germany. Separately, several Italian papers reported on Tuesday that Berlin was willing to consider a price cap on gas.
“With a view to the coming winter and the threat of an energy crisis, investors are likely to remain understandably cautious,” said Commerzbank analyst Esther Reichelt.
The DAX (.GDAXI) edged 0.5% higher to move away from six-week lows.
Meanwhile, Spain’s IBEX (.IBEX) dipped 0.1%. Spanish national consumer prices rose 10.4% year-on-year in August, down from 10.8% the previous month, preliminary data showed.
Sanofi (SASY.PA) firmed 1.5% after a drug on which the firm was collaborating with Sweden’s SOBI (SOBIV.ST) was granted priority review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. SOBI also added 1.2%.
Gazprom has informed Engie (ENGIE.PA) it is reducing gas deliveries starting on Tuesday due to a disagreement between the parties, the French utility said. Engie shares fell 0.7%.
Adevinta (ADEA.OL) surged 12.3% after the world’s largest classified advertising company reported upbeat quarterly results.
Norway’s Aker Solutions (AKSOA.OL) jumped 5.0% after the firm announced it would form a subsea engineering joint venture with Schlumberger (SLB.N).