European shares are lower Wednesday, ahead of a continuation of US-Canada trade talks. Investor sentiment is subdued as Canada has made it clear it will not back down on its key NAFTA objectives.
In addition to that, Bayer shares are also weighing on the indices, as the pharma giant looks set to suffer years of legal issues relating to claims against the Monsanto Roundup weed killer.
By around 1415 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.70% lower, while the EUROSTOXX 50 had lost 0.76%. The German DAX, meanwhile, fell 0.76%, the French CAC was 1.06% in the red and the Spanish IBEX was down 0.28%.
US-Canada trade talks in focus
Trade tensions remain a key driver of market sentiment Wednesday. The US and Canada are set to resume their NAFTA trade talks later. And, while the continuation of talks suggests the desire to find common ground, both parties have made it clear they’re not willing to concede on certain details that are important to them.
After reaching an agreement with Mexico on NAFTA, Trump has said he’s willing to impose auto tariffs on Canada, or even exclude them entirely from the alliance.
Meanwhile, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has also firmly stated that certain details must be in the re-negotiated pact and that he won’t sign a bad deal.
While trade takes centre stage again, there were, as always, some stock movers of note.
Bayer shares slid 1.85% to €78.35 after reporting mixed Q2 earnings, the German pharma giant reported a 3.9% revenue increase, thanks to its Monsanto purchase.
However, it also reduced some of its outlook metrics and there are concerns over the likely lengthy legal processes the firm will be entangled in as over 8,000 claimants sue the maker of weed killer Roundup.
Daimler shares, meanwhile, moved higher a day after the German car maker unveiled a new all-electric Mercedes Benz SUV. Daimler shares rose 0.63% to €54.54.