Europe stocks close higher as investors monitor earnings; THG down 21%


LONDON — European stocks closed higher on Tuesday, as positive corporate earnings offered a tailwind to global markets.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by 0.8%, with travel and leisure stocks jumping 1.9% to lead gains with most sectors and major bourses firmly in positive territory.

On Wall Street, U.S. stocks climbed to record levels as traders reacted to a strong set of quarterly results from major companies. Tech behemoths Alphabet and Microsoft are due to report after the bell.

In Asia, equities closed mostly higher overnight, with electric vehicle battery makers surging after car rental giant Hertz said it would order 100,000 vehicles from Tesla by the end of 2022.

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European traders were reacting to a busy morning of earnings, with Novartis, Thales, Reckitt Benckiser and Covestro among those reporting before the bell.

Swiss bank UBS beat analyst expectations in the third quarter on a boom in wealth management, reporting net profit attributable to shareholders of $2.3 billion. UBS shares added 1.3% by the close.

Swiss-American computer peripherals maker Logitech on Tuesday reported an increase in second-quarter sales on the back of surging demand from home workers. On Monday, specialty tire manufacturer Michelin posted better-than-expected third-quarter sales.

In other corporate news, Europe’s largest retailer Carrefour is set to launch a new rapid grocery delivery service alongside Uber in Paris, the two companies announced Tuesday. Carrefour shares climbed 0.9%.

Global investors are still assessing concerns about above-trend inflation and below-trend economic growth, which have prompted fears of stagflation or monetary policy errors.

Earnings were the key driver of individual share price movement in Europe. Finnish marine and energy tech company Wartsila jumped 11.3% after beating third-quarter earnings expectations and projecting rising demand in the fourth quarter.

Swedish bearings manufacturer SKF fell 7.9% after missing third-quarter profit forecasts.

At the bottom of the Stoxx 600, embattled British e-commerce company THG plunged 21.1% after its third-quarter earnings and analyst conference, despite the SoftBank-backed company’s solid numbers and efforts to reassure investors.

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– CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed to this report.

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