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Europe: Defensives drag down shares from 4-month highs

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[BENGALURU] European shares slipped on Wednesday as investors turned their focus back to earnings reports and a surge in coronavirus cases, after an EU-wide debt deal sent the region's markets to four-month highs in the previous session.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.3 per cent by 7.22am GMT (3.22pm SGT), easing from its strongest close since March 5.

Defensive sectors led Europe lower, with healthcare, utilities and consumer companies among the biggest drags, with media, down 1 per cent, falling the most.

Investors took cheer from European Union members reaching a deal on Tuesday over a 750 billion euro (S$1.2 trillion) coronavirus recovery fund, while hopes are also high that Washington will deliver a new round of stimulus.

Swiss engineering firm ABB rose 2.4 per cent after saying its order situation could improve in the coming months.

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French car parts maker Valeo fell about 5 per cent after it swung to a 1.2 billion euro loss in the first half of 2020, after production was hit due to the pandemic.

REUTERS

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