(Reuters) – European shares inched lower on Tuesday as investors sifted through a mixed bag of corporate earnings and eyed latest developments on U.S.-China trade talks and Britain’s progress towards some form of orderly departure from the European Union.
Germany’s DAX <.GDAXI> and Switzerland’s SSMI <.SSMI> both bucked the trend, with the latter helped by a 1% gain for drugmaker Novartis <NOVN.S> after it raised its 2019 targets and reported better-than-expected revenue.
Another Swiss company, Apple supplier AMS <AMS.S> also climbed 6% as demand from smartphone makers boosted operating profit.
French specialty minerals company Imerys <IMTP.PA> slipped 6% after cutting its outlook for 2019, while Norway’s Aker BP <AKERBP.OL> moved marginally lower as it slashed its full-year oil output target.
British household goods maker Reckitt Benckiser <RB.L> was moored to the bottom of the pan-European STOXX index with a 5% fall after it cut its full-year sales forecast for the second time this year.
The STOXX <.STOXX> was down just over 0.1% by 0728 GMT.
Shares of UBS <UBSG.S> led gains among banking stocks <.SX7P> after Switzerland’s biggest bank reported a smaller than expected loss in quarterly profit.
Swedish defence firm Saab <SAABb.ST> rose 7% to top the STOXX 600 after reporting third-quarter operating earnings well ahead of market forecasts and affirming its view that operating cashflow this year would improve versus 2018.
(Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh; editing by Patrick Graham)