European shares down for a fourth day as US trade tensions weigh

European shares are lower for a fourth session amid investor caution following US plans to impose steel and aluminium import tariffs.

European shares down for a fourth day as US trade tensions weigh

European shares are lower again, Friday, as investors are spooked by US President Trump’s plans to impose steel and aluminium import tariffs. The decision has raised fears that a global trade war could ensue, unsettling investors around the globe.

By 1230 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 had lost 1.49%, while the EUROSTOXX 50 was 1.62% in the red. The German DAX, meanwhile, was 2.17% lower, the French CAC was down 1.75% and the Spanish IBEX was off 1.32%.

US steel tariff

US president Trump said Thursday that he planned tariffs of 25% and 10% on imported steel and aluminium, for every country that sells the products into the US.

Trump exacerbated the concern Friday, by tweeting “Trade wars are good and easy to win”. The comments helped push markets further into the red.

Some of the US’ main trading partners have expressed their unhappiness at the decision.

“Instead of providing a solution, this move can only aggravate matters,” European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted, Friday. “The EU will react firmly and commensurately to defend our interests.”

Juncker added the commission would discuss “a proposal for WTO-compatible countermeasures against the US to rebalance the situation.”

Head of policy at UK Steel, meanwhile, called Trump’s tariff plan, a ‘blunt’ measure. And, China said it hopes the US will “exercise restraint in using trade protection tools”.

Stock movers

Amid the growing concerns over this latest policy discussion, there have been a number of notable fallers across European indices.

ArcelorMittal shares are 3.19% lower at €26.83 in the wake of the news. And that’s despite the CEO said he agreed with tough measures. The fall also comes as ArcelorMittal enters a joint venture with Nippon Steel to buy India’s bankrupt Essar Steel.

Other fallers include:

  • Fiat Chrysler shares lost 5.30% to trade at €16.18.
  • ThyssenKrupp shares were down 3.44% at €21.07.
  • Infineon Technology shares were 2.52% lower at €21.25.

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