European shares retreat on China trade fears

Published: August 30, 2018 16:19:18 | Updated: September 01, 2018 11:24:44

European shares retreated on Thursday, tracking a decline in Asian trading as weakness in Chinese markets eclipsed optimism that a NAFTA deal could be struck by Friday’s deadline.

The pan-European STOXX 600 extended early losses to 0.5 per cent by 0830 GMT, while Germany's DAX, dropped 0.9 per cent.

Trade-sensitive mining stocks in the European markets ttumbled 1.3 per cent and autos fell 0.7 per cent.

Shares in Europe’s largest property company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield fell 5 per cent. UK commercial property firm Intu fell 3.6 per cent while peer Hammerson fell 4.1 per cent.

Klepierre lost 3.8 per cent after a Morgan Stanley downgrade. Real estate was Europe’s worst-performing sector, down 1.3 per cent, reports Reuters.

Shares in Swedish radiation therapy gear maker Elekta fell 6.6 per cent after it reported an unexpected drop in first-quarter operating profit.

Bouygues was a rare gainer, up 3.1 per cent after the French conglomerate stuck to its full year outlook for rising profitability as its telecoms division improved.

The prospect of Bouygues Telecom gaining market share sent shares in rival Iliad, a telecoms disrupter offering cut-price contracts, tumbling 6.4 per cent.

Bringing up the rear was Swiss asset manager GAM which sank a further 8.1 per cent, hitting its lowest in more than nine years and taking its year-to-date losses to 51 per cent.

GAM shares have sold off sharply since the firm suspended a top director and suspended, then liquidated, some bond funds.

Overall in Europe, escalating trade disputes have driven cyclical mining and autos sectors down this year while healthcare and technology take the lead.

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