European shares snap three days of losses, but worst week in months

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12/07/2018 | 06:00 pm
LONDON (Reuters) - European shares staged a small recovery on Friday snapping three days of heavy losses, but stocks notched up their worst week of losses in two months amid growing worries that the U.S.-China trade row may erupt again and slowing global economic growth.

The euro zone's STOXX <.STOXXE> index closed up 0.6 percent but near the session lows as tech losses on Wall Street weighed even as oil rallied and a tepid U.S. jobs report tempered some expectations for fast U.S. interest rates hikes.

"Volatility is high and investors are twitchy. It was been a dreadful week for European markets, and today’s positive move can’t mask the previous losses," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Germany's DAX, with its big exposure to the trade war, has joined the long list of indexes or stocks to fall into bear territory in 2018. It was the only major bourse to close in the red on the day.

Car makers <.SXAP>, which are most vulnerable to trade worries, were up only 0.1 percent after falling more than 4 percent during the previous session.

Oil and gas stocks <.SXEP> led the gains after OPEC and its Russia-led allies agreed to slash oil production by more than the market had expected even amid pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to reduce the price of crude.

In M&A news, Finnish retailer Amer Sports jumped 9 percent to the top of the STOXXE after a consortium led by China's Anta Sports launched a takeover bid valuing the company at 4.6 billion euros ($5.23 billion).

A glimpse of optimism was provided by the market debut of Britain's AJ Bell. The investment platform provider bucked a trend of lacklustre European initial public offerings, with the shares rising more than 37.5 percent.

Germany's Fresenius was the biggest loser, down 17 percent for the healthcare company's worst performance on record after its profit warning.

Fresenius Medical Care shares were down 8.5 percent, with both dragging the DAX down 0.21 percent.

Spain's Sabadell dipped 0.2 percent after its chairman said the bank planned an eventual merger or sale of its TSB unit once it has returned the British bank to profitability.

Associated British Foods shares fell 4.6 percent to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after reporting that trading at its Primark fashion chain was challenging in November.

"If Primark is struggling, what chance does the rest of the high street have?" said Neil Wilson, analyst at Markets.com.

(Reporting by Julien Ponthus and Josephine Mason; editing by Helen Reid, Larry King, Richard Balmforth)

By Julien Ponthus and Josephine Mason

Thomson Reuters 2018
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