European stock gauges sagged across the board in early trade Thursday as investors attempted to dispel trade-war angst between the U.S. and China and as shares of financials and the pharmaceutical companies weighed on the broader market.
What are markets doing?
The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -0.16% declined by 0.4% to 388.31, after finishing 0.2% lower on Wednesday at 389.69. The day’s moves after Tuesday marked the index’s best close since late July. The pan-European gauge is on pace for a rise of about 0.1% so far this week, having pushed into positive territory for the year this week.
Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, -0.03% fell 0.1% at 12,619.96, while France’s CAC 40 PX1, -0.20% fell 0.5% to 5,472.15. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, -0.63% slid 0.6% to 7,728.95. The British pound GBPUSD, -0.0388% was down 0.2% to $1.2858.
Meanwhile, the FTSE MIB Italy index I945, +0.03% declined by 0.8% to 21,611.77, while Spain’s IBEX 35 IBEX, +0.07% fell 0.3% to 9,715.40.
The euro EURUSD, -0.1637% edged down 0.2% to $1.1590, compared with 1.1610 late Wednesday in New York.
A weaker currency can help lift sales and revenue for companies doing business outside of Europe.
What is driving the market?
A risk-off environment was hitting stocks across the Europe region. In the latest ripple for global trade tensions, China responded Wednesday to the U.S.’s plan to impose new 25% tariffs on Chinese goods, to take effect Aug. 23. China said it would match that move, with similar tariffs to take effect the same day.
Read: Trade-war tracker: Here are the new levies, imposed and threatened
Other stock movers
Adidas AG ADS, +7.66% shares jumped after the sportswear maker reported higher profit in the second quarter, lifted by strong revenue for key U.S. and China markets. The company also confirmed its outlook. Shares of the company were up nearly 8%.
Zurich Insurance AG ZURN, +0.50% shares as the Swiss-based insurer posted a sharp rise in first-half net profit. The insurer’s stock traded 0.4% lower.
German multinational pharmaceutical group Merck KGaA MRK, -3.32% posted a slight rise in second-quarter sales, and confirmed its 2018 outlook. Its shares were down 3.5%
Thyssenkrupp AG TKA, -0.93% shares were little changed after the steelmaker said it swung to a loss in the third quarter, and set fresh midterm earnings and sales targets. “The bottom line is, that we are not satisfied with the current results,” said the German industrial conglomerate’s interim Chief Executive Guido Kerkhoff.
Deutsche Telekom DTE, +0.14% lifted its full-year guidance as the German telecommunications group saw second-quarter net profit nearly halved from the year-earlier period due to an expense. Shares of the company rose 0.2%.
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