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09 Feb 2021 | 17:32

Europe close: Oil and Gas, Travel names drag on indices

(Sharecast News) - European shares finished on a mixed note on Tuesday as investors booked profits following the rally seen during the last few days, driven by vaccine roll-outs and hopes the US Covid-19 relief package would make swift progress through Congress. The benchmark pan-European Stoxx 600 index dipped 0.09% to 410.42, albeit alongside a 0.1% advance for the French Cac-40.

Spain's Ibex 35 on the other hand plummeted 1.44% to 8,101.0, while the FTSE Mibtel fell 0.54% to finish at 23,300.49.

Oil&Gas was the weakest sector on the Stoxx 600, retreating by 1.28%. Travel&Leisure was also weak, dropping 0.81% after the UK announced much tighter controls on international travel.

Going the other way, technology issues managed a flat close, with fresh record highs for the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite helping to buoy investor sentiment.

At the individual company level, shares in Danish hearing aid maker Demant topped the gainers. The company's shares jumped 12% after saying that it expected to return to strong growth in 2021 as Covid-19 lockdowns were lifted and after reporting earnings for the second half of 2020 that came in ahead of expectations.

Shares in German leasing firm Grenke dipped, adding to the previous day's slump after chief operating officer Mark Kindermann resigned.

He told the firm's supervisory board that it would be necessary to revise "preliminary assessments" of the firm's financial performance once audits had been completed.

Stock in UK online supermarket and logistics provider Ocado retreated despite reporting a 68.8% rise in full-year core earnings as investors baulked at the company's planned £700m in capital expenditure, and a subdued outlook for UK retail growth in the coming 12 months.

Shares in CD Projekt, the company behind troubled game Cyberpunk 2077, declined after it revealed it had been hit by a ransomware attack.

In a post to its Twitter feed on Tuesday, CD Projekt, the Polish developers, shared the ransom note left by the hackers, who claimed to have copied the source code for a number of the studio's biggest games including Cyberpunk and The Witcher 3, as well as encrypted the servers themselves.

TUI reversed early gains on the heels of a €699m first-quarter loss as Covid-19 lockdowns continued to hammer demand.

Shares in French oil major Total fell back after the company said earnings recovered in the fourth quarter as oil prices recovered, although a hit from writedowns on assets due to the Covid-19 pandemic saw it plunge to a $7.2bn net loss for fiscal 2020.

Micro Focus surged after the software firm reinstated its dividend, despite a near $3bn impairment charge pushing it deep into the red.

Electrocomponents rallied after an upgrade to 'overweight' at JPMorgan, while Spirent Communications was boosted by an upgrade to 'buy' at Cannacord.

Bellway rose after the housebuilder hailed record first-half completions amid "robust" demand. Rivals Taylor Wimpey and Berkeley also pushed higher.

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