Sunday 15 December 2019

European shares dip as trade caution lingers

(stock picture)
(stock picture) Business Desk Business Desk

European shares edged lower for the second straight session on Friday, as investors feared a new US law backing protesters in Hong Kong would cloud the prospects of a preliminary Sino-US trade deal.

On Thursday, China warned of "firm counter measures" to the law supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

The editor of China's state-backed Global Times tabloid said later in a tweet those could include barring drafters of the legislation from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.4pc at 08:06 GMT, but still on track for its best week in three after a boost from positive headlines on trade earlier in the week.

Shares of Norway's largest bank DNB fell 3.4pc after police said they were investigating to establish whether any laws were broken in its handling of payments from an Icelandic fisheries firm to Namibia.

Frankfurt-listed shares dropped 0.4pc, as data showed German retail sales dipped in October, suggesting private consumption in Europe's largest economy took a pause before the Christmas shopping season.

Traders are now awaiting a raft of economic indicators including the euro zone unemployment rate for October and preliminary GDP figures for the fourth quarter from Italy.


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