European stocks were mixed on Tuesday, as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s annual economic policy symposium later this week for cues on when the U.S. central bank may actually start scaling back its bond-buying program.
Underlying sentiment remained supported somewhat after U.S. authorities gave full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for people aged 16 and older.
On the economic front, official data showed Germany’s economy grew at a faster than expected pace in the second quarter, underpinned by domestic demand.
Gross domestic product grew a seasonally and calendar-adjusted 1.6 percent from the first quarter, when output decreased 2.0 percent, Destatis reported.
An increase of 1.5 percent was estimated initially. In the second quarter of 2020, GDP fell 10 percent amid the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On a year-on-year basis, GDP grew 9.8 percent in the second quarter after a 3.3 percent fall in the first quarter. Growth was estimated as 9.2 percent in the flash estimate.
The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.1 percent to 472.50 after rising 0.7 percent on Monday.
The German DAX rose 0.4 percent, while France’s CAC 40 index dropped 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was down 0.1 percent.
The dollar held near a five-day low on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve might delay tapering of economic support, given the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Banks traded lower in London, with Lloyds Bank and HSBC Holdings falling more than 1 percent.
John Wood Group shares fell 2.6 percent. The consulting and engineering company reported that its first-half loss was $11 million, same as last year.
Travel and leisure stocks rallied, with Lufthansa, IAG, Air France KLM and EasyJet climbing 2-4 percent.
Miners Anglo American and Glencore were up more than 1 percent.
Marks and Spencer Group jumped 4.6 percent after Berenberg and Credit Suisse raised their price targets on the stock.
Novartis fell over 1 percent. The Swiss drug maker said its Kymriah CAR-T therapy did not meet its primary endpoint of event-free survival in a phase III study.
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