(Bloomberg) -- European stocks closed slightly lower after swinging between gains and losses amid earnings and ahead of the Federal Reserve’s rate decision.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost less than 0.1% at the close. Banks underperformed, with Barclays Plc down 6.1% after saying it expects a prolonged stretch of economic contraction and bad loans. Banco Santander SA dropped after suffering a 12.6-billion-euro ($14.8 billion) impairment charge.
The region’s equity rally has faltered since European Union leaders agreed on a 750 billion-euro stimulus package on July 21, as investors switched focus to the second-quarter earnings season and rising Covid-19 cases globally.
“One can ask where the market momentum has gone despite an earnings season better than anticipated, the EU recovery pact adoption process and real rates apparently below zero for a long period of time,” Oddo BHF strategist Sylvain Goyon said. “But after a sizeable rebound from lows, investors need to get more visibility on earnings growth in absolute terms to engage more, frankly, into equities.”
In other corporate news, Gucci-owner Kering rose 4% after its revenue beat estimates. Schneider Electric SE added 2.9% after resuming buybacks and re-establishing 2020 targets. Carmakers were the worst performers as Renault SA fell after partner Nissan Motor Co. forecast a wider-than-estimated loss.
(A previous version of this story was corrected to remove reference to Tuesday’s losses in the first paragraph.)
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