European shares rise as investors seek safety in utilities, consumer goods

European shares
European shares Copyright Reuters staff
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European shares rise as investors seek safety in utilities, consumer goods


European shares were slightly higher on Tuesday, as investors flocked to stocks considered safe in times of economic uncertainty after a series of profit alerts from U.S. companies and amid continued worries about trade frictions.

Investors shunned stocks exposed to U.S.-China trade frictions, and SAP, Europe's most valuable technology company, came under pressure after its results.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.2 percent at 0841 GMT, with utilities and personal and household goods leading the gains. London's FTSE 100 jumped 0.7 percent ahead of the key vote in Parliament in the evening on Brexit.

Frankfurt's DAX, whose constituents are particularly exposed to China, was down 0.2 percent, as a series of profit warnings from Caterpiller, Whirlpool and chipmaker Nvidia overnight reinforced worries about the cooling Chinese economy.

News that the United States levelled sweeping criminal charges against China's telecom giant Huawei just days before the next round of talks between Washington and Beijing to try and resolve the protracted trade dispute also added to the subdued mood.

Luxury goods, technology and auto stocks, which are particularly sensitive to trade frictions, were some of the biggest fallers. The autos index was down 1.2 percent while technology stocks were 1 percent lower.

LVMH, the world's biggest luxury goods group, will report its 2018 results after the bell.

Among individual moves, Sartorius Stedim rallied 13 percent and Sartorius jumped after their results, while Hargreaves Lansdown was the worst performer on the FTSE 100 after its results.

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