Stocks

European shares flat amid intensifying trade tensions

Reuters | Updated on September 30, 2019 Published on September 30, 2019

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 per cent.   -  Bloomberg

European shares were little changed on Monday as investors shrugged off fresh concerns about US-China trade negotiations and looming US tariffs on European imports.

A report on Friday said that the US might limit Chinese company listings on its stock exchanges, fuelling more US-China trade angst ahead of critical negotiations next week.

Trade-sensitive technology shares were down 0.2 per cent, after earlier leading declines on the pan-European STOXX 600 index.

“It is quite strange for a Monday morning where we have got a lack of direction in general,” said Helal Miah, investment research analysts at The Share Centre.

“We've also had a decent recovery in the last two to three days, so it could just be markets taking a breather at the moment.”

After falling in early trading, the benchmark European index was up 0.1 per cent.

Equity markets rallied in September on cues of monetary easing from the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve, and on hopes of a resolution in an economically damaging US-China trade war.

JPMorgan raised its rating on euro zone equities to ”overweight” on Monday, saying the bloc's battered stocks have been under owned and predicting an opportunity for them to bounce back.

The STOXX 600 index is set to close the month with a 3per cent rise, marking its third straight quarterly gain.

However, the pace of growth has slowed substantially from a 12per cent increase in the first quarter of the year as concerns linger about the health of the euro zone economy as well as the trade war.

All eyes are now on an announcement by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is expected to grant the United States a record award allowing it to hit European imports with billions of dollars of tariffs in a long-running aircraft subsidy dispute.

Shares in Airbus dipped 0.1per cent, as the WTO said the European planemaker and its US rival Boeing had received billions of dollars of illegal subsidies in a pair of cases that have run for 15 years.

In a bright spot, HomeServe PLC jumped 3.8per cent, to the top of the STOXX 600, after RBC raised its rating on the British home repairs provider's stock to “outperform.”

GlaxoSmithKline gained 1.7per cent after its maintenance therapy for a form of ovarian cancer reduced the risk of disease progression or death.

Published on September 30, 2019
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