European markets muted ahead of big bank earnings; Nokia up 8%

  • European investors will be looking stateside on Tuesday ahead of the second-quarter earnings season for banks, which kicks off Tuesday, starting with JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs.
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to appear in front of Congress Wednesday and Thursday to provide an update on monetary policy.

LONDON — European stocks struggled for direction on Tuesday morning ahead of earnings reports from several big banks in the U.S.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered fractionally below the flatline in early trade, with health care stocks dropping 0.6% while telecoms gained 0.7%.

European investors were looking stateside on Tuesday ahead of the second-quarter earnings season for banks, which kicks off Tuesday, starting with JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs before the opening bell.

Banks are expected to double this quarter, following the 138% earnings growth the sector saw in the first quarter. The S&P 500 broadly is expected to produce its strongest earnings growth since the fourth quarter of 2009.

U.S. stock futures were mostly flat on Monday night after the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to almost 35,000 during the regular trading session. Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley will report their earnings later in the week.

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Elsewhere on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to appear in front of Congress Wednesday and Thursday to provide an update on monetary policy.

In Asia-Pacific overnight, shares were mostly higher in Tuesday trade as investors reacted to the release of China's trade data for June which showed exports jumped 32.2% compared with a year earlier, customs data showed. That was much higher than a forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll for a 23.1% growth in exports for June.

In coronavirus news, the World Health Organization said Monday that most fully vaccinated people who get Covid delta infections are asymptomatic. However, hospitalizations are rising in some parts of the world, mostly where vaccination rates are low and the highly contagious delta variant is spreading.

In Europe, carmaker VW releases a strategy update at 12:30 p.m London time and inflation data for June is published by France and Germany.

Nokia shares climbed 8% by mid-morning after the Finnish telecoms and electronics company announced plans to raise its full-year guidance.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, German drug packager Gerresheimer fell 7% after its earnings report.

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– CNBC's Tanaya Macheel and Eustance Huang contributed reporting to this story.

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