European shares in the red on trade war concerns

European shares fell into the red after the latest round of US-China tariff measures

European shares gradually fell into the red on Thursday after the latest round of US-China tariffs hurt trade-sensitive autos stocks and sentiment suffered as Wall Street indexes slipped into negative territory.

The Stoxx 600 edged down 0.16 per cent to 383.42 points, with most European bourses posting only modest losses.

UK shares gradually slid into negative territory on Thursday with the blue-chip FTSE 100 index closing down 0.15 per cent at 7,563.22 points with shares in the energy sector contributing to limit the losses.

Heavyweights Royal Dutch Shell and BP were up 0.8 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively. Smaller firms in the sector such as Irish-founded Tullow Oil and Premier Oil, which announced profits for the first half of the year, were also rising. Both were up about 1 per cent.

A number of stocks, notably in the financial sector, such as Prudential, Royal Bank of Scotland and the London Stock Exchange were trading without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out, trimming 4.24 points off the FTSE 100.

A surprise profit warning from tyre maker Continental sank the stock earlier in the week, and it fell a further 4.3 on Thursday, taking its losses to over 15 per cent since Wednesday’s open.

Carmakers Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen fell by 0.6 to 1.6 per cent, while Peugeot, Michelin and Renault were the biggest CAC 40 fallers, down 3.2 per cent, 2.2 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively.

Bayer was down 2 per cent after the number of US lawsuits brought against newly acquired Monsanto jumped to about 8,000 and as the German drugmaker braces for years of legal wrangling over alleged cancer risks of glyphosate-based weedkillers.

Danish medical equipment, supplies and distribution company Ambu sank 12 per cent after its third-quarter results missed analysts’ targets.

Shares in Swiss asset manager GAM fell 4.8 per cent. The stock is down 23 per cent since July 31st, when it suspended a director, halting dealing in some bond funds soon afterwards.

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