By Steve Goldstein
European stocks were trading lower in afternoon trade amid worries about the travel industry, even as investors responded well to earnings.
Up for 10 of the last 12 weeks, the Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.10% traded 0.4% lower in afternoon trade, with the German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +0.0049% losing more than 1%. Banks including BNP Paribas /zigman2/quotes/206351084/delayed FR:BNP +1.90% and HSBC Holdings /zigman2/quotes/203901799/delayed UK:HSBA +0.71% fell.
The weakness in Europe came despite gains in the U.S., and gains in Europe’s comparatively smaller tech sector. Telecom equipment maker Nokia /zigman2/quotes/203672305/delayed FI:NOKIA -1.99% /zigman2/quotes/207421390/composite NOK -2.55% surged 16%.
Shares of technology investment company Prosus /zigman2/quotes/214038022/delayed NL:PRX -3.50% added 4% in Amsterdam, after Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings HK:700 , in which it holds a 31% stake, jumped 11% in Hong Kong.
Shares of airlines such as International Airlines Group /zigman2/quotes/208070069/delayed UK:IAG -1.57% and Deutsche Lufthansa /zigman2/quotes/201210530/delayed XE:LHA +1.26% dropped sharply, as President Joe Biden is set to announce a ban on entry from European Union countries, while the U.K. is discussing tightening restrictions at its borders.
Electricite de France /zigman2/quotes/201783867/delayed FR:EDF -0.97% tumbled after a report the French government was struggling to reach a deal with the European Union on nuclear reform that would allow for a price rise and a restructuring of operations.
Siemens Energy /zigman2/quotes/221435471/delayed XE:ENR -2.10% rose 3%, as the company reported a surprise adjusted profit in its fiscal first quarter, helped by results both at its gas-power unit as well as mostly held wind-turbine maker Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy /zigman2/quotes/205820667/delayed ES:SGRE -4.87% .
Philips Electronics /zigman2/quotes/204604645/delayed NL:PHIA -1.23% rose 3%, as the Dutch conglomerate reported largely in-line results for the fourth quarter and reiterated 2021 goals.
Shares of support services provider Solutions 30 /zigman2/quotes/209687498/delayed FR:S30 -1.61% plunged 20%, as short seller research firm Muddy Waters issued an open letter calling its accounting “highly aggressive and misleading.” Solutions 30 says it’s been the target of a “destabilization campaign” for several months and that there’s an independent audit being conducted.