(Reuters) – European stocks were little changed at the opening on Wednesday as a batch of mixed business results and heightened tensions between the United States and China fueled doubts about a rapid economic recovery despite many countries easing public isolation measures.
The European Stoxx 600 index stabilized as the impact of losses in the oil and gas sector after a recent surge in gains outweighed health-care stocks.
Global sentiment also remained fragile as US President Donald Trump again attacked China and urged it to be transparent about the origin of the emerging Corona virus outbreak.
On a busy day with business results, Italy’s largest bank, UniCredit, announced that it incurred losses of 2.7 billion euros ($ 2.9 billion) in the first quarter of the year after writing off loans in anticipation of damage caused by the Corona pandemic. Shares of the bank fell about 1 percent.
Norwegian Airlines shares plunged 12 percent after the company said it would sell new shares at 79 percent off the latest trading price as it seeks to boost its capital to qualify for an aid package from the government.
The healthcare sector was stable, supported by the rise of the Danish Novo Nordisk, 2.1 percent, while the German Fresenius Medical Care rose 2.9 percent after achieving better than expected profits in the first quarter.
Marwa Salam prepared for the Arab Bulletin – Edited by Moataz Mohamed