LONDON, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Ratcheting political tensions between the United States and North Korea sent European shares south on Wednesday, with all major benchmarks and sectors in the red and investors rushing to gold, while strong results from Scout24 and Novo Nordisk shone.
The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.5 percent, while euro zone stocks and blue-chips dropped 0.8 percent, following the lead of U.S. and Asian markets which declined after Pyongyang said it was considering plans to attack Guam, which has a large U.S. military base.
Germany’s DAX traded 0.8 percent lower in early deals while Britain’s FTSE outperformed slightly, down 0.5 percent.
Results also caused some sharp losses.
Chemicals firm Brenntag led fallers, down 4.5 percent after second quarter results undershot expectations. “M&A seems to be the main driver while organic growth remains unsatisfying,” said Baader Helvea analysts.
G4S shares fell 4.7 percent despite the security group reporting first-half profit up 7.6 percent and saying its turnaround was on track.
Gold miners Randgold Resources and Fresnillo were among the only gainers on the FTSE, up 0.7 to 1.2 percent as investors rushed to the safety of gold.
Scout24 was a stand-out performer, jumping 7.5 percent to a seven-month high after the German online classifieds company’s first-half results impressed. Its shares had fallen sharply after a broker downgrade last week.
The healthcare sector outperformed thanks to strong gains from the world’s top maker of diabetes drugs, Novo Nordisk which beat second-quarter profit forecasts.
Overall, earnings growth for the MSCI Euro zone companies reporting this quarter is tracking at 17.7 percent, with 72 percent of results in so far. (Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Alison Williams)