European shares fall as China PMI data, trade fears sap confidence

Reuters London | Updated on November 30, 2018 Published on November 30, 2018

DAX was set for its fourth straight month of losses - its longest losing streak since 2008.   -  REUTERS

European shares fell back on Friday as weak data from China rekindled anxiety over slowing growth and investors fretted ahead of Saturday's crucial G20 talks between US President Trump and China's Xi Jinping over trade.

The pan-European STOXX 600 opened marginally up but rapidly fell into the negative, down 0.3 per cent by 0825 GMT. Germany's DAX, the most sensitive to China due to its big exporters, fell 0.4 per cent.

DAX was set for its fourth straight month of losses - its longest losing streak since 2008. The pan-European STOXX was set for its second straight month of losses as November, and a disappointing earnings season, draw to a close.

China reported its weakest factory growth in more than two years on Friday, reigniting fears about growth ahead of crucial trade talks. Autos stocks were the worst-performing, down 0.9 per cent, as the weak Chinese manufacturing data and anxiety over potential tariffs sapped investors' appetite for the sector.

Trump and Xi were set for talks on trade at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on Saturday, and German car bosses were planning to visit the White House next week to discuss threatened US tariffs on European vehicles.

Car parts makers were among the worst-performing stocks, with Faurecia, Hella and Valeo shares down 2.4 to 4.9 per cent. Daimler dragged the DAX down with a 2.7 per cent fall, while peers BMW and Volkswagen fell 0.8 to 0.9 per cent.

European autos sector is on track for its worst year since 2011 as investors dump the stocks seen as vulnerable to rising protectionism. Mining stocks fell 1 per cent after weak data from the world's top metals consumer.

Among the biggest drags on the STOXX were also luxury goods conglomerates Kering and LVMH. Luxury stocks have been especially sensitive to signs of slowing growth in China, high-end brands' biggest market. In single-stock moves Altice shares surged 11 percent after the telecoms and cable firm announced its French unit had agreed to sell a 49.99 per cent stake in its fibre optic business.

Published on November 30, 2018
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