Monday 21 January 2019

Stock slide continues on US-China row

Traders work on the floor of Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, Argentina. Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor of Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, Argentina. Photo: Reuters


An escalating protectionist war between the United States and China extended a sell-off in European shares yesterday, with carmaker, mining and technology stocks in the eye of the storm.

Europe's main equity benchmarks declined after US President Donald Trump warned Washington would impose a 10pc tariff on $200bn of Chinese goods after Beijing decided to raise tariffs on $50bn in US goods.

"For now we are talking about the US and China, not Europe directly, but certainly overall it's a de-risking because global trade integrates everything," said Britta Weidenbach, head of European equities at DWS.

Europe's companies are in general far more exposed to the global economy than US counterparts.

Carmaker stocks were the biggest drag on stocks in Europe yesterday.

"The automotive sector is one of the main sectors that could potentially be impacted by import tariffs," said Ms Weidenbach, adding that the impact on German carmakers may depend on how much of their production is US-based.

"The devil is in the detail in the end, but certainly the discussions are not helpful for the sector," she added.

Ireland's ISEQ Overall Index declined 0.25pc to 7,063.76.

Decliners included building materials giant CRH, which has about half its business in the US. It shed 1.4pc to €31.31.

Smurfit Kappa was 1.3pc lower at €34.44, while ferry group Irish Continental was down 3.7pc at €5.16.

Gainers included embattled baked goods firm Aryzta, which soared 8.2pc in Dublin to €13.75.

The UK's FTSE-100 slipped 0.36pc. Germany's DAX was down 1.2pc and France's CAC-40 was 1.1pc lower.

Irish Independent

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