European shares fell for a third consecutive session on Wednesday. Losses in healthcare and construction stocks went against a lift from positive earnings from consumer company Nestle and telecoms equipment maker Ericsson.
The FTSE is down by 112 points at 5776.5 as the EURO STOXX 50 is down by 47 points at 3180.
Patrick Moonen, principal strategist in the multi-asset team at NN Investment Partners, told Reuters: “Earnings have been generally well above expectations, and guidance has been a positive surprise.”
He added: “But there are other elements that are currently at play and may have a bigger impact on the market performance than earnings.”
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7.15am update: Rishi Sunak to make major announcement
The Chancellor is set to announce a new support package for businesses affected by Tier 2 restrictions, according to reports.
Rishi Sunak will unveil a new plan to help firms, particularly pubs and restaurants, who have seen their trade drop as a result of the social restrictions in the “high” Covid-19 category.
Currently businesses in Tier 2 areas such as London and Birmingham do not benefit from the same Government aid as those in Tier 3, including business grants and higher wage subsidies, because they can remain open.
Mr Sunak will make a statement to the Commons on Thursday morning and the Telegraph reported he will unveil financial measures to help Tier 2 firms following complaints from industry leaders and MPs that thousands of jobs were at risk ahead of Christmas.