European shares are lower, mid-afternoon Thursday, reversing earlier gains as Brexit worries work to outweigh earnings related gains. Concerns over the pace at which US interest rates are set to rise, amid the ongoing US-China trade dispute, also continued to hurt.
By around 1430 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.08% lower, while the EUROSTOXX 50 lost 0.22%. The regional bourses were a little mixed. The German DAX fell 0.24%, the Spanish IBEX was down 0.54% while the French CAC edged 0.03% higher.
Brexit, US worries, weigh
Two of the main concerns subduing investor action, Thursday, are stalled Brexit negotiations and concerns that the US Federal Reserve will continue to raise rates, while the US-China trade disagreement could potentially hurt both economies.
As talks between the UK and EU appear to be at an impasse, UK Prime Minster Theresa May has suggested she would be willing to extend the transition period between membership and non-membership, by a few months, to make the required progress to exit the block with a deal.
However, Jacob Rees-Mogg, a well-known euro-sceptic Conservative party MP, has warned that an extension of the transition period is a bad idea, that would also prove expensive.
Also adding to the downbeat tone, are concerns that the Fed’s plan to raise rates further this year and next, could hurt the economy as the trade disagreement between US President Trump and China, continues.
Against that backdrop, some individual company news worked to move stocks during the trading session, so far.
Novartis shares are higher after the Swiss pharma giant announced plans to buy US cancer drug specialist, Endocyte, for $24 per share. It also reported positive third-quarter earnings and raised its 2018 sales growth guidance.
Carrefour shares, meanwhile, are almost 10% in the green, after the French retailer’s earnings showed a surge in sales growth in France and Brazil was enough to counter weakness across southern Europe.