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European shares fall amid continued trade tensions, Russian sanctions

European shares are trading lower in the mid-afternoon Thursday as investor sentiment struggles amid ongoing US-China trade-tensions. Caution surrounding the beginning of Russian sanctions added to the gloom which even some upbeat earnings updates failed to penetrate.

By 1405 BST, both the EUROSTOXX 600 and EUROSTOXX 50 were 0.04% lower. Meanwhile, regional bourses were a little mixed. The German DAX was 0.38% in the green, the French CAC lost 0.16% and the Spanish IBEX was down 0.22%.

US-China trade tensions

Another day brings another development in the US-China trade war. After confirmation from the US of a second set of import tariffs on Chinese goods, China announced its next move.

China has said that in light of the US plans to add 25% import taxes on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods, it will do the same. The list of US imports that would be affected by a second round of China tariffs, include coal and other energy products along with cars made in the US.

In a statement earlier this week on the trade dispute, China said that the US is continuing to escalate the problem.

“China stands firmly against US unilateral sanctions on Chinese entities,” the China’s Ministry of Commerce said.

“China urges the United States to relax its controls over exports to China, and protect and promote the high-tech trade and cooperation between companies from both countries”, the ministry said.

Stock movers

As investors continue to do business amid a difficult trade backdrop, some company earnings and other news, saw a mixture of risers and fallers across the European indices, Thursday.

Pandora shares are 3.83% higher at DKK354.70 after an announcement that the Danish jeweller’s CEO, Anders Colding Friss is stepping down at the end of August. The move comes as the business continues to follow a new strategy and announced on Monday, that it would cut 400 jobs.

In other news, Zurich Insurance shares are 017% lower at CHF300.20, despite reporting a rise in its H1 2018 net profit.

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