European shares start the New Year in the red

on Jan 2, 2018

European shares were trading broadly lower in early afternoon trade Tuesday. A stronger euro weighed on investor sentiment, while by sector, autos and metal and mining stocks all lost ground.

By 1310 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was trading 0.44% lower, while the EUROSTOXX 50 was down 0.55%. The regional bourses were also in the doldrums with the German DAX off 0.77%, the French CAC 0.66% in the red, although the Spanish IBEX was marginally in the green, up 0.19%.

Euro gains on weaker US dollar sentiment

The US dollar has begun the year in weak territory, although analysts aren’t 100% certain – or in much agreement – about exactly what is causing the lower valuation of the greenback.

One popular possibility put forward by some, is uncertainty surrounding the upcoming change of leadership of the US Federal Reserve. Another reason could be that economic data in the coming months may not support the current expectations of three further interest rate hikes in 2018.

Whatever the reason behind it, the US dollar has lost ground against a number of currencies, including the euro. And, the stronger euro is making European stocks more expensive, which is weighing on European share prices Tuesday.

European stock movers

Amid that backdrop, European share moves of note include auto, metal and miners, oil companies and banks.

Shares in French carmaker Renault were trading 1.54% lower at €82.62, the price of Peugeot shares was off 1.53% at €16.70, while Volkswagen shares were also 1.53% lower at €163.90.

Rio Tinto shares were off 0.67% at £3,915.50, BHP Billiton shares were down 1.03% at £1,506.80 and Antofagasta shares lost 1.55% to trade at £989.40.

There were some gains, however, helping to limit index losses, Tuesday. They included:

  • Unicredit shares rose 0.51% to trade at €15.66.
  • Steinhoff International shares gained 6.67% to hit €0.34.
  • British Airways owner IAG shares were 2% higher at £664.00.