European shares are lower in the early afternoon Wednesday, as traders pause for breath ahead of a meeting between US President Trump and EU Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker on trade.
The outcome of the showdown is far from certain, raising fears of further trade tensions between the two.
By 1325 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.24% lower, while the EUROSTOXX 50 was off 0.36%. Regional bourses are also in the red. The German DAX lost 0.62%, the French CAC was 0.11% in negative territory, while the Spanish IBEX fell 0.36%.
US-EU talks in focus
After yesterday’s upbeat performance, investors are taking a breath Wednesday, as they await a new catalyst for direction. That’s likely to come from the US-EU trade meeting later Wednesday. However, whether the outcome is good or bad news for markets, as yet remains unknown.
Comments ahead of the meeting suggest both countries want to come to an agreement, the question is whether or not they’re able to.
“The European Union is coming to Washington tomorrow to negotiate a deal on Trade. I have an idea for them. Both the U.S. and the E.U. drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies! That would finally be called Free Market and Fair Trade! Hope they do it, we are ready - but they won’t!,” Trump tweeted overnight.
Meanwhile, the EU’s trade commissioner Cecelia Malmstrom said that currently, it’s not likely that all the EU members would be willing to agree to a completely free trade agreement.
Against that tense backdrop, some company earnings also supported some individual stock moves.
Deutsche Bank shares fell 1.43% to €10.30 after reporting a 14% drop in Q2 profits from a year earlier and confirming it had reduced its global staff by 2,100 so far this year.
LVMH shares, meanwhile, climbed 1.69% to trade at €306.20. The luxury goods manufacturer posted upbeat results and said demand for its good from China remained robust.