European shares mixed as trade war worries return

European shares are mixed Wednesday, as trade war fears return in the wake of the resignation of Trump's chief economic adviser, and anti-protectionist voice, Gary Cohn.

European shares mixed as trade war worries return

European shares are trading mixed-to-lower Wednesday, as the resignation of one of US President Trump’s top advisers helped keep the trade war discussion at the forefront of investor’s minds. The European Union, meanwhile, is discussing plans to retaliate to Trump’s potential trade tariffs.

By 1320 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was down 0.03%, while the EUROSTOXX 50 was 0.11% in the green. Regional bourses were equally mixed. The German DAX gained 0.53%, however the French CAC was 0.09% lower and the Spanish IBEX lost 0.04%.

Tough talk on trade

Trump’s tough talk on trade began late last week and has continued since. Despite comments from trade partners including China and the EU that they could retaliate to high, blanket import tariffs with their own, the US president is sticking to his view.

Trump’s refusal to back down on his trade stance has led to his chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, who is against the protectionist views held by many in the White House, to resign from office.

Cohn’s resignation followed comments from Trump which further inflamed the debate.

“The European Union has been particularly tough on the United States,” Trump said as he spoke next to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at the White House.

“They make it almost impossible for us to do business with them, and yet they send their cars and everything else back into the United States,” he added.

Meanwhile, the EU is said to be forming a plan to impose tariffs on a variety of US imports, should the Trump administration go ahead and introduce or hike current import taxes on EU goods.

Stock movers

As the trade row rumbles on, numerous stocks are being sold off, for fears of how those companies would perform should US tougher tariffs be introduced.

Car stocks once again lost out:

  • Volkswagen shares fell 1.41% to €154.78.
  • Daimler shares slid 0.73% to €67.08.
  • Fiat shares recovered some earlier, steeper losses to trade 0.08% in the red at €17.06.

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