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Germany's DAX falls on gas supply worries; mixed earnings cast shadow on growth

·2-min read
German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

By Susan Mathew

(Reuters) -Germany's DAX index fell on Monday after Russia's Gazprom said a new turbine halt will further cut gas to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, stoking supply worries, while a mixed batch of earnings raised concern about overall economic growth.

The DAX erased afternoon gains to end 0.3% lower after Gazprom said it was halting the operation of another Siemens gas turbine at Nord Stream 1's Portovaya compressor station, taking into account the technical condition of the engine.

It said throughput from 0400 GMT on Wednesday would therefore fall to 33 million cubic metres per day - just half of the current flows, already at just 40% of normal capacity.

"The uncertainty there is still the name of the game..., which is hanging over the markets and equity prices so much because no one really knows what's going to happen," said Stuart Cole, head macro economist at Equiti Capital.

"We are just in a bit of no man's land at the moment until the Fed decision is out of the way. Until we see firm signs that we are approaching a bottoming out in economic data, or that the Fed's position is changing in favour of a more dovish tone, equity markets will remain pressured."

Germany's Ifo institute showed high energy prices and the threat of gas shortages weighed on business sentiment in Europe's largest economy in July.

This comes after a survey over the weekend showed a number of industrial companies in Germany are cutting production in reaction to soaring energy prices. Last week, euro zone-wide data showed PMIs unexpectedly shrank in July.

Investors widely expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by another 75 basis points when it concludes a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

This would come after the European Central Bank's bigger-than-expected 50 basis points hike last week.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 0.1% after struggling for direction in the entire session.

Banks, which benefit in a high interest rate environment, rose 1.7% and helped lender-heavy main indices in Spain and Italy rise, outperforming regional peers.

They were followed by gains in oil producers and miners.

Dutch medical equipment maker Philips tumbled 7.7% on a worse-than-expected drop in second-quarter core earnings, citing supply shortages and lockdowns in China.

Pharma company Almirall SA fell 2.9% on missing core earnings expectations.

Faurecia rose 2.8% after Forvia, the cart parts maker born from its takeover of German rival Hella, confirmed its FY guidance and reported upbeat sales in the first half of the year.

Bechtle gained 4.8% after the German IT-systems provider reported upbeat preliminary second-quarter earnings, with growth back to pre-COVID levels.

(Reporting by Susan Mathew and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Mark Heinrich)

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