North Korea tensions weigh on European shares but some results shine
LONDON, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Ratcheting political tensions between the United States and North Korea sent European shares south on Wednesday, with all major benchmarks and sectors in the red and investors rushing to gold, while strong results from Scout24 and Novo Nordisk shone.
The pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX fell 0.5 percent, while euro zone stocks .STOXXE and blue-chips .STOXX50E dropped 0.8 percent, following the lead of U.S. and Asian markets which declined after Pyongyang said it was considering plans to attack Guam, which has a large U.S. military base. DAX traded 0.8 percent lower in early deals while Britain's FTSE outperformed slightly, down 0.5 percent.
Results also caused some sharp losses.
Chemicals firm Brenntag BNRGn.DE led fallers, down 4.5 percent after second quarter results undershot expectations. "M&A seems to be the main driver while organic growth remains unsatisfying," said Baader Helvea analysts.
G4S (CO: G4S ) GFS.L shares fell 4.7 percent despite the security group reporting first-half profit up 7.6 percent and saying its turnaround was on track. miners Randgold Resources RRS.L and Fresnillo FRES.L were among the only gainers on the FTSE, up 0.7 to 1.2 percent as investors rushed to the safety of gold. G24n.DE was a stand-out performer, jumping 7.5 percent to a seven-month high after the German online classifieds company's first-half results impressed. Its shares had fallen sharply after a broker downgrade last week.
The healthcare sector outperformed thanks to strong gains from the world's top maker of diabetes drugs, Novo Nordisk NOVOb.CO which beat second-quarter profit forecasts. earnings growth for the MSCI Euro zone companies reporting this quarter is tracking at 17.7 percent, with 72 percent of results in so far.
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