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Weak Diageo, Bayer earnings hit Europe stocks; BP jumps

European shares edged lower on Tuesday as disappointing earnings reports from Diageo and Bayer took the shine off a jump in growth-linked cyclical stocks, while investors awaited signs of progress on more U.S. fiscal stimulus.

The world’s largest spirits maker, Diageo Plc, slid 5.9% as it reported a bigger-than-expected decline in underlying net sales as demand for its whiskeys, vodka and gin fell in all markets except North America.

Energy major BP’s stock jumped 5.8% after it cut its dividend in a widely expected move and reported a record $6.7 billion loss in the second quarter as the coronavirus crisis hammered fuel demand.

Leading gains among sectors, the oil & gas sector rose 2.1%, while automakers, banks and travel & leisure rose between 1.5% and 2%.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.2% by 0727 GMT, although eurozone blue-chip stocks gained 0.5%.

German drugs and pesticides group Bayer fell 3% as it reported a 9.5 billion euro ($11.2 billion) net loss for the second quarter, following a $10.9 billion settlement of U.S. lawsuits claiming that its weedkiller Roundup caused cancer. – Reuters

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