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European Markets Drop As Trade War Heats Up

The European markets pulled back Wednesday as trade war concerns weighed on investor sentiment. U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to begin the process of imposing tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports.

The move comes after the U.S. imposed a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports last Friday, leading China to retaliate by imposing tariffs on $34 billion worth of U.S. exports.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index weakened by 1.26 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks decreased 1.47 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 1.44 percent.

The DAX of Germany dropped 1.53 percent and the CAC of France fell 1.48 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 1.30 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished lower by 0.98 percent.

In Frankfurt, IT company Bechtle rallied 2.29 percent after announcing its intention to acquire the French IT provider Inmac Wstore S.A.S.

Trade concerns weighed on shares of automakers Wednesday. Volkswagen declined 2.56 percent, BMW fell 1.42 percent and Daimler lost 2.01 percent. Renault weakened by 2.33 percent in Paris and Peugeot surrendered 0.99 percent.

In London, Indivior tumbled 29.52 percent. The company expects fiscal 2018 net revenue and adjusted net income to be below previous expectations, because of recent U.S. market developments for SUBOXONE and early uptake levels of SUBLOCADE.

Glencore sank 4.83 percent. The commodity trader has set up a board committee to oversee its response to a U.S. probe into possible corruption and money laundering.

Luxury goods group Burberry dropped 4.05 percent after releasing trading update for its first quarter.

Barratt Developments advanced 3.52 percent. The company expects fiscal 2018 profit before tax to be around 835 million pounds, higher than last year's 765.1 million pounds, driven by a strong end to the financial year and early progress on margin initiatives.

Ericsson declined 1.49 percent in Stockholm. The telecommunications firm has signed an agreement to divest Ericsson Local Services AB in Sweden to Swedish communication infrastructure company Transtema Group AB.

Producer prices in the U.S. increased by slightly more than expected in the month of June, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand rose by 0.3 percent in June after climbing by 0.5 percent in May. Economists had expected prices to edge up by 0.2 percent.

A report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed wholesale inventories in the U.S. increased by slightly more than expected in the month of May. The Commerce Department said wholesale inventories climbed by 0.6 percent in May after inching up by 0.1 percent in April. Economists had expected inventories to rise by 0.5 percent.

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