Markets

European Stocks Close Mixed Despite U.S. Pfizer Vaccine Approval; M&S Up 4%

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS | AFP | Getty Images
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 was a hair below the flatline by the end of trading, with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full approval for Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid vaccine Monday.
  • Focus for global investors this week remains on the Fed's Jackson Hole symposium, which takes place virtually on Thursday.

LONDON — European stocks closed mixed Tuesday, paring back earlier gains after news the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was a hair below the flatline by the end of trading, with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions.

Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Tuesday's trade, following suit from the U.S. on Monday as the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped to a record close after the FDA granted full approval for Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid vaccine. Stateside, stocks inched higher with the Nasdaq Composite reaching a fresh record on Tuesday.

Focus for global investors this week remains on the Fed's Jackson Hole symposium, which takes place virtually on Thursday, where policymakers could detail their plans for tapering the central bank's $120 billion a month bond buying program. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will deliver a speech on Friday.

On the data front, German GDP grew by 1.6% in the second quarter adjusted for price, seasonal and calendar effects, the country's Federal Statistics Office revealed Thursday.

The expansion slightly outpaced the office's previous estimate of 1.5% growth, and was driven primarily by consumers and state spending.

Investors continue to keep one eye on the situation in Afghanistan. Reuters reported that G-7 (Group of Seven) leaders are expected the seek a unified decision on Tuesday as to whether or not to recognize the Taliban's leadership, and whether to impose sanctions on the organization.

In corporate news, Morrisons shareholder Legal & General said Monday that a new agreed $9.54 billion takeover bid for the British supermarket chain from private equity group CD&R is a more accurate reflection of its true value.

Rival Sainsbury's is also the source of speculation, with the company's stock soaring Monday following a report that private equity firms could launch offers of more than $9.6 billion. Sainsbury's shares slipped nearly 5% Tuesday as some investors seemingly cashed in on Monday's 14% surge.

Near the top of the European blue chip index, British retailer Marks & Spencer climbed over 4% after price target increases from Credit Suisse and Berenberg.

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- CNBC's Ryan Browne contributed to this report.

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