European stocks fall weighed down by worst tech day since October

By Sruthi Shankar and Ambar Warrick

(Reuters) – European stocks closed lower on Tuesday, the worst day for the tech sector since late October, following a sudden plunge in the stocks of large US firms.

* The pan-European STOXX 600 Index lost 1.4%, with tech stocks plummeting 3.8%, and some analysts attributed the decline to profit taking.

* Tech stocks are trading near record highs thanks to a stellar earnings season and increased optimism about the economic recovery.

* “It is a combination of a liquidation of the winners of the past months (…) with the month of May and a ‘nervous’ positioning,” said Angelo Meda, portfolio manager at Banor SIM in Milan.

* The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 2.73% at 1642 GMT, moving away from record levels, on a day when high-valuation tech firms were hit the hardest.

* In Europe, the German stock market lost 2.5%, leading the falls in the region due to its high composition of technology stocks.

* Chipmaker Infineon lost 5.9%, one of the biggest in the German index, after its chief executive, Reinhard Ploss, said he expected supply restrictions in the automotive segment to ease only in the second half of the year, making it likely that lost volumes will not be recovered until 2022.

* European automakers lost 3.2%. Mining companies rose 0.2% and oil and gas stocks fell the least, supported by strong resource prices as investors bet on a strong global rebound after massive vaccination campaigns in developed countries. and unprecedented encouragement.

(Report by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; additional report by Danilo Masoni; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)