(Reuters) – European stocks hovered near a two-week high on Tuesday after strong business results from companies including Novartis and UPS outperformed declining oil prices, shares and FireCard.
By 0722 GMT, the European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.1 percent, after closing at the highest level since mid-April on Monday, as many countries plan to ease public isolation measures to combat the outbreak of the Corona virus.
The European oil and gas sector index fell 0.6 percent as oil prices tumbled in light of fears of diminishing crude storage capacities around the world.
London-based BP shares fell 1.8 percent as the company expects refining margins to decline in the second quarter, while first-quarter profit plunged by two-thirds due to oil demand being affected by the Corona virus crisis.
The shares of the German financial services company Wirkard fell the most, dropping 21.3 percent after the company published the results of an investigation conducted by the audit firm KPMG.
The troubled European banking sector received some support from UBS, which rose 4.3 percent after the bank posted a 40 percent increase in quarterly profits between January and March.
Novartis shares rose 1 percent after the company confirmed its goals for 2020 as the Corona pandemic prompted patients to store their medicines in advance.
Marwa Salam prepared for the Arab Bulletin – Edited by Moataz Mohamed