European stocks ended under slight pressure on Wednesday as investors digested the latest coming out of the earnings space. The pan-European Stoxx 600 came off its session lows to finish down 0.05 percent provisionally, while sectors pointed in opposite directions by the close. Financials and banking stocks underperformed several sectors Wednesday, on earnings and doubts over U.S. plans to reform the tax system. French bank Credit Agricole fell over 3 percent after posting lower net profits. Italy’s BPM meanwhile sank 7.5 percent, after it was halted during early morning trading, Reuters reported.
U.S. stock indexes finished with small gains Wednesday as video game makers gave technology companies a boost and household goods companies also rose. However a recent decline in interest rates continued to put pressure on banks. Companies that make and sell household goods, like Colgate-Palmolive and Wal-Mart, gained ground as well. Energy companies declined and banks fell again as interest rates have weakened since late October, which makes mortgages and other loans less profitable.
Asian stocks climbed in Thursday trade, following the firmer lead from Wall Street in the last session. Investors in the region also digested the release of Chinese inflation data and kept an eye on President Donald Trump’s stop in Beijing.