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European stocks maintained two-week highs on Tuesday as strong earnings reports from companies inspired optimism. The positive news outshone that of the rout in oil prices and the plummeting shares of Germany’s Wirecard.
The pan-European STOXX index gained 0.1% at 0722 GMT as several countries prepare to ease the pandemic-led lockdown measures. The index closed at its highest since mid-April on Monday.
Meanwhile, Europe’s oil and gas sector lost 0.6% as oil prices plummeted due to rising supply and a decrease in demand.
London-based oil and gas company, BP fell by 1.8%after it had slashed its refining margins forecast for the second quarter. Its first-quarter profits had also tumbled by two-thirds as the health crisis hammered oil demand.
Financial services company, Wirecard sharply declined by 21.3%, according to results published after a KPMG’s auditor investigation.
Despite Europe’s battered banking sector, UBS reported a 4.3% gain following a 40% rise in its January-March profit.
Pharmaceutical company Novartis also rose by 1% after it had confirmed its 2020 targets.