Europe open: Shares lower as rally runs out of steam

(Sharecast News) – European shares were slightly lower on Tuesday as the rally of recent days ran out of steam.

The benchmark pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 0.10%, after gains driven by vaccine roll-outs and hopes the US Covid-19 relief package would make swift progress through Congress. Germany’s DAX index was down 0.13%, despite official data showing German exports rose in December.

In equity news, shares in Danish hearing aid maker Demant topped the gainers. The company said it expected to return to strong growth in 2021 as Covid-19 lockdowns were lifted and reported earnings for the second half of 2020 above expectations.

Shares in German leasing firm Grenke rebounded after Monday’s slump, gaining 7% 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.

UK online supermarket and logistics provider Ocado slumped despite reporting a 68.8% rise in full-year core earnings.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said “it appears investors have potentially been put off by Ocado’s planned £700m in capital expenditure, and a subdued outlook for UK retail growth in the coming 12 months”.

TUI ticked higher even as the travel company slumped to a €699m first-quarter loss as Covid-19 lockdowns continued to hammer demand.

Total SE rose 1.1% 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.

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