Markets

European Shares Slide On Virus Worries, US-China Tensions

(RTTNews) - European stocks fell on Thursday as growing friction in U.S.-China relations as well as fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections dashed investor hopes for a revival of the global economy.

Meanwhile, the interest rate announcement from the European Central Bank is due at 7.45 am ET, with analysts expecting the central bank to leave its key interest rate unchanged at a record low zero percent.

ECB President Christine Lagarde is set to hold customary press conference at 8.30 am ET.

The pan European Stoxx 600 dropped almost 1 percent to 370.23 after climbing 1.8 percent to close at a five-week high on Wednesday.

The German DAX shed 0.8 percent, France's CAC 40 index fell 1.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was down 0.6 percent.

Sweden's Getinge AB soared 6.3 percent after reporting a jump in quarterly core profit.

Swiss luxury goods group Compagnie Financiere Richemont slumped 5.4 percent after its first-quarter total sales fell 47 percent, hurt by strong impact from Covid-19 pandemic.

Dutch brewer Heineken NV lost 2.8 percent as it reported first-half preliminary net loss of around 150 million euros.

German sugar producer Suedzucker declined 1.5 percent. The Group noted that its outlook for 2020/21 is currently still of considerable uncertainty due to the corona pandemic.

GVC Holdings slumped 4.4 percent. The British sports betting and gambling company said its chief executive officer, Kenny Alexander is to retire from the Board and the Company after 13 years at the helm.

SSE Plc advanced 1.5 percent. The energy company said it continues to target delivery of its five-year dividend plan to 2022/23, including an 80p + RPI full-year dividend for 2020/21.

Miner Anglo American lost 2 percent after it reported an 18 percent fall in overall second-quarter output.

Recruiter Hays tumbled 3.3 percent after warning of lower annual profit.

Alstom SA shares advanced 2 percent. After reporting a 27 percent fall in first-quarter sales, the French company reiterated its previous outlook and said it expects a fast recovery in the rail market.

German online fashion retailer Zalando surged 2.8 percent after raising its full year earnings forecast.

Similarly, Sartorius jumped 6.3 percent after raising its full-year sales and earnings guidance for the Bioprocess Solutions Division and thus for the entire Group.

In economic releases, the euro area trade surplus increased sharply in May as the relaxation of coronavirus containment measures boosted both exports and imports, data from Eurostat revealed.

The trade surplus rose to a seasonally adjusted EUR 8 billion from EUR 1.6 billion in April. Exports increased 7.9 percent month-on-month in May while imports grew 3.2 percent.

The U.K. unemployment remained unchanged in three months to May, data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

In three months to May, the jobless rate was largely unchanged at 3.9 percent, well below economists' forecast of 4.2 percent.

Early indicators for June suggested that the number of employees on payrolls fell around 650,000 compared to March.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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