European Shares Retreat On US-China Trade Concerns

European stocks retreated on Thursday amid fears that the U.S.-China conflict could escalate.

After U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to levy additional tariffs on Chinese goods, Beijing said it would retaliate with “necessary countermeasures”.

As hopes for a trade resolution wane, China’s vice premier and top trade official, Liu He, will arrive in Washington later today for two days of talks.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was down 0.8 percent at 379.03 after rising 0.2 percent in the previous session.

The German DAX was also down 0.8 percent, France’s CAC 40 index was losing 1.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was declining half a percent.

Tariff worries pulled down automakers, with BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Renault and Peugeot falling 2-3 percent.

ArcelorMittal lost 4.6 percent after the world’s largest steelmaker said it expects lower demand for the rest of 2019.

Italian bank Banco BPM plunged 6.7 percent after reporting a halving of loan-loss provisions for the first quarter.

BP Plc dropped 1.8 percent in London and Hiscox fell 2.5 percent on going ex-dividend.

Acacia Mining rallied 2.8 percent after reporting a surge in April gold output and backing FY production outlook.

Luxury brand Burberry, for which China is a key market, fell 1.8 percent.

Online grocer Ocado rose 1.3 percent after it bought a minority stake in robotics start-up Karakuri.

Germany’s Metro AG slumped nearly 6 percent after its fiscal second-quarter net loss widened.

Continental AG tumbled 3.5 percent. The automotive manufacturing company reported a 22 percent fall in first-quarter net profit.

Defense contractor Rheinmetall gained 2.6 percent. The company confirmed its FY19 outlook after reporting a rise in Q1 earnings and sales.

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