By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
European stocks finished slightly lower Tuesday following a closely watched summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
How markets performed
The broader Stoxx Europe 600 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.50% ended 0.1% lower at 387.53, after rising as much as 0.4% early in the session. The oil-and-gas groups and basic-materials sector led decliners, but the utility and consumer-services shares closed higher. On Monday, the index rose 0.7%, the first rise in five sessions.
France’s CAC 40 index /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.01% reversed course and fell 0.4% to close at 5,453.37. Germany’s DAX 30 index /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +1.04% turned lower and ended with a small loss of less than 1 point at 12,842.30.
In London, the FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.49% fell 0.4% to 7,703.81, also giving up early gains.
But Spanish and Italian stocks advanced. Spain’s IBEX 35 /zigman2/quotes/210597995/delayed XX:IBEX +0.23% picked up 0.2% to finish at 9,914.40, and Italy’s FTSE MIB index /zigman2/quotes/210598024/delayed IT:I945 +0.23% rose 0.2% to 22,119.76. That extended Monday’s 3.4% leap, seen after Italy’s economy minister said the country’s new coalition government is committed to eurozone membership.
The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD +0.3896% traded at $1.1791, slightly higher than $1.1785 late Monday in New York.
What drove markets
European bourses started to retreat after posting gains at the open. When trading got under way, Trump and Kim had signed a joint document pledging to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but the statement was criticized for a dearth of detail on the process of verifying Pyongyang’s compliance.
“The lack of a response [in the markets] though may be a reflection of the fact that the agreement still lacks some detail and given the unpredictable and volatile nature of the two leaders, there’s no guarantee that it won’t run into significant difficulties. Still, progress is important which makes today a big success,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.
The meeting was historic as it was the first between a U.S. sitting president and a North Korean leader.
Meanwhile, the Brexit issue returned to the fore, as U.K. lawmakers in the House of Commons debated amendments by the House of Lords to the bill that takes the U.K. out of the European Union. The 15 amendments include a measure to keep the country in the EU’s customs union.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government runs the risk of losing its bid to overturn some of the amendments if enough Conservative lawmakers decide to vote alongside opposition parties. Justice Minister Phillip Lee resigned Tuesday, citing the government’s handling of the U.K.’s pending exit from the EU.