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European Shares Fall As Trade Tensions Resurface


European stocks fell in cautious trade Thursday, with renewed U.S.-China trade tensions, weak results from French bank Societe Generale and concerns over the partial government shutdown in the U.S. keeping investors worried.

U.S.-China trade tensions resurfaced after media reports suggested the U.S. is pursuing criminal charges against Huawei for alleged theft of trade.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.3 percent at 349.47 in opening deals after rising half a percent in the previous session.

The German DAX was moving down 0.7 percent, while France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 were down around 0.4 percent.

STMicroelectronics fell 2.7 percent after Taiwan Semiconductor forecast a nearly 14 percent drop in first-quarter revenue.

Sanitary technology solutions provider Geberit rallied 2.2 percent after it posted 2018 sales in line with expectations.

Software provider Sage Group soared 5.3 percent in London as it reiterated guidance after a strong start to its financial year.

Primark owner ABF jumped 6 percent after reporting a rise in revenue in the Christmas quarter and maintaining its full-year earnings guidance.

Media firm ITV slumped 7.5 percent as Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock rating to "underperform" from "buy".

Deutsche EuroShop fell 3.5 percent in Frankfurt. The company said it anticipates a negative pre-tax valuation result of about EUR-61 million in 2018.

French lender Societe Generale fell over 3 percent. The bank said its fourth-quarter results would be hit by "disposals and a challenging environment in global capital markets".

In economic releases, Eurozone inflation slowed to 1.6 percent in December from last year, Eurostat said, confirming its preliminary estimates released earlier in January.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the outlook for the U.K. housing market over the next quarter is the worst in 20 years due to uncertainty around Brexit.

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