LONDON — European stock markets were broadly flat in midmorning trading on Tuesday as U.S. voters prepared to cast their votes in one of the nastiest and most divisive presidential elections in recent history.
The FTSE 100 in London held at 6,813.17, while the FTSE MIB in Milan was at 16,738.71. The CAC 40 in Paris and the DAX in Frankfurt both edged up 0.1 percent, to 4,465.76 and to 10,462.51, respectively.
The euro traded at $1.11, while the pound fetched $1.24, and the Swiss franc equaled $1.02 at 10:30 a.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were uneven, with the morning’s biggest risers including Next, 1.1 percent to 50.45 pounds, and Metro, 1.3 percent to 27.33 euros.
Primark’s parent Associated British Foods was up 8.2 percent to 26.92 pounds after it reported a 5 percent uptick in group revenue and a 3 percent rise in operating profits in the year to Sept. 17.
George Weston, ABF’s chief executive officer, called it a “year of progress” for all of its businesses with a substantial expansion in Primark’s selling space.
Marks and Spencer, which reported a 91 percent slide in first-half profits and the closure of dozens of stores in international markets, was broadly flat at 3.50 pounds. Italia Independent Group, which just named industry veteran Giovanni Carlino its new chief executive officer, climbed 2.2 percent to 3.37 euros.
Among the morning’s biggest fallers were Boohoo.com, 2.7 percent to 1.12 pounds; Koovs.com, 1.5 percent to 0.63 pounds, and French Connection, 6.6 percent to 0.32 pounds.
Earlier in the day, Luca Solca, managing director at Exane BNP Paribas, laid out the case for luxury stocks in the event of a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton win.
He believes that in the case of a Trump victory, the stocks most negatively impacted will be ones that are highly exposed to the dollar, namely Luxottica, Brunello Cucinelli, Salvatore Ferragamo and Burberry.
Solca said stocks with high exposure to the yen, such as Hermès and Moncler, should be safe havens. In the case of a Clinton victory, Solca said the top performers should be midcap luxury names such as Swatch, Hugo Boss, Prada and Tod’s.