European shares fall as US-China trade dispute ramps up

European shares are lower as investor sentiment weakens following further tariff threats from the US over Chinese imports.

European shares fall as US-China trade dispute ramps up

European shares are lower Wednesday, as the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China has hit the headlines again. Investors are beginning to feel increasingly risk averse and opting to sell riskier stocks in favour of more safe-haven options.

By 1350 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 1.11% lower, while the EUROSTOXX 50 was off 1.09%. Regional bourses were also downbeat. The German DAX was 1.19% in negative territory, the French CAC fell 1.03% and the Spanish IBEX was down 1.02%.

US-China trade dispute

European investors adopted a more cautious tone Wednesday after US President Trump’s Government said it would look into a 10% import tariff on a further $200 billion of Chinese goods.

This newest list of Chinese goods the US is targeting with tariffs – which includes foods, handbags and minerals - underscores Trump’s determination to ensure US companies no longer have to share intellectual property with Chinese companies if they seek to do business there.

It also suggests Trump will not back down in this area.

China’s Ministry of Commerce, meanwhile said that this latest move by the US is ‘unacceptable’ and that the trade dispute is hurting the global economy.

Both the White House and Beijing say they are still willing to enter further discussion on the topic, however.

“As in the past, the United States is willing to engage in efforts that could lead to a resolution of our concerns about China's unfair trade practices and to China opening its market to US goods and services,” US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said.

Stock movers

As investors carefully monitor the developing trade situation, there were some interesting individual stock movers.

Thyssenkrupp shares slipped 2.97% to trade at €20.91 after the German industrial engineering group ruled out a breakup of the firm, despite activist investors’ plans.

Indivior shares, meanwhile, slumped 31.05% to hit £260.70 after it warned its 2018 profits would now be below previous forecasts amid the launch of the generic version of one of is best selling drugs.

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