01:00 PM EDT, 07/15/2021 (MT Newswires) -- European stocks fell Thursday, dragged down by weakness in energy shares and the continued concern over the spread of COVID-19 across Asia as the particularly infectious Delta variant of the virus stokes the pandemic.
The German Dax, French CAC and the Stoxx Europe 600 were down 1%, while the FTSE 100 in the UK fell 1.1%. The Swiss Market Index shed 0.6%.
The UK's unemployment rate for the three months through May fell to 4.8% from 5% over the three-month stretch through February, according to the Office for National Statistics. That was above expectations for a 4.7% rate matching that for the three months though April.
The European Securities and Markets Authority published guidance on the prospectus disclosure and investor protection issues raised by the growing number of listings of special purpose acquisition companies. The regulator set out how issuers should satisfy existing requirements to enhance the clarity and comparability of SPAC prospectuses, and said blank-check companies present investor risks including dilution and conflicts of interests.
On the corporate front, Daimler (DAI.F) credited higher sales and strong pricing for its better-than-anticipated preliminary second-quarter earnings results, amid the ongoing global chip shortage. The German automaker's earnings before interest and taxes for the second quarter reached 5.19 billion euros ($6.14 billion), above market consensus of 4.12 billion euros. Adjusted EBIT was 5.42 billion euros, beating the avaerage analyst estimate of 4.29 billion euros.
Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut (BARN.SW) said Thursday sales revenue was up 2.1% for the nine months through May, with the sales volume rising 3.4% thanks to positive momentum in the chocolate business in the fiscal third quarter. The Swiss chocolate and cocoa supplier's revenue grew to 5.35 billion Swiss francs ($5.85 billon) from 5.24 billion francs, while sales volume rose to 1.62 million tons from 1.57 million tons in the prior period, with growth across all regions.
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