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Europe: Stocks hit as cyclicals reverse gains

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Banks and oil companies led European stocks lower on Tuesday as investors turned wary ahead of the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting.

[BENGALURU] Banks and oil companies led European stocks lower on Tuesday as investors turned wary ahead of the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 1.2 per cent, while the main markets in Frankfurt, London and Paris were down between 1.6 per cent and 2.1 per cent.

After a stunning 46 per cent recovery from all-time lows, eurozone banks fell 3.8 per cent after an EU financial stability watchdog said banks should not be allowed to pay dividends at least until the end of this year.

Oil majors Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total fell between 3 per cent and 4.5 per cent as oil prices fell due to a stronger dollar and oversupply concerns.

Other sectors considered most geared to economic growth such as automakers, travel and leisure and insurers, which led a market recovery in the recent weeks, fell between 2 per cent and 3.4 per cent.

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Investors were also awaiting the conclusion of the Fed's monetary policy meeting on Wednesday for its views on recent signs of economic recovery.

"Some of the moves were pretty crazy yesterday and we are keeping back a little. Maybe a bit concerned pre-Fed," said Keith Temperton, a trader at Tavira Securities.

"My feeling is the Fed is not going to say or do anything. They're probably going to reserve the next round of ammunition for potential damage from a second wave or if more lockdown is required."

The World Bank said on Monday the coronavirus crisis will cause global economic output to contract by 5.2 per cent in 2020, warning that its forecasts would be revised downward if uncertainty persists.

However, a surprise recovery in US jobs data and unprecedented stimulus from central banks have helped push the European benchmark rise just 15 per cent below its record high, while Wall Street's tech-heavy Nasdaq confirmed a return to bull market on Monday.

"I personally don't expect a V-shaped recovery in economic growth. It will take some time to find economic normalisation," said Matthias Scheiber, global head of portfolio management, multi-asset solutions for Wells Fargo Asset Management.

Healthcare and technology stocks, which have taken a hit in the recent days, rose 0.7 per cent and 0.1 per cent.

British American Tobacco (BAT) slid 3.1 per cent after it cut annual targets, citing a demand hit from stricter lockdown measures in key emerging markets.

REUTERS

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