Euro­pean shares lower fol­low­ing de­cli­ine in Asian trad­ing

Malta Independent - - FINANCIAL -

Euro­pean shares fell back on Thursday, track­ing a de­cline in Asian trad­ing as weak­ness in Chi­nese mar­kets eclipsed op­ti­mism that a NAFTA deal could be struck by Fri­day’s dead­line.

The pan-Euro­pean STOXX 600 ex­tended early losses to 0.5 per­cent by 0830 GMT, while Ger­many’s DAX, which is sen­si­tive to China due to its promi­nence as a Ger­man ex­port mar­ket, dropped 0.9 per­cent. Chi­nese stocks fell af­ter ac­tiv­ity in the fac­tory sec­tor likely slowed for the third straight month in Au­gust amid un­cer­tainty over an es­ca­lat­ing trade war with the United States. In Europe, trade-sen­si­tive mining stocks tum­bled 1.3 per­cent and au­tos fell 0.7 per­cent.

Over­all in Europe, es­ca­lat­ing trade dis­putes have driven cycli­cal mining and au­tos sec­tors down this year while health­care and tech­nol­ogy take the lead. With the sec­ond-quar­ter earn­ings sea­son draw­ing to a close, com­pa­nies in the MSCI Europe in­dex have de­liv­ered 10.9 per­cent year-on-year earn­ings growth in euro terms.

Ja­pan’s Nikkei eked out small gains af­ter touch­ing more than a three-month high on Thursday as pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments in trade ne­go­ti­a­tions un­der­pinned sen­ti­ment, but in­vestors wasted no time tak­ing prof­its from the gains in late trade.

The Nikkei share av­er­age ended 0.1 per­cent higher to 22,869.50, af­ter climb­ing to 23,032.17 points, its high­est level since May 21.

Mean­while, start-up mar­kets at­tracted buy­ing, with the Mother mar­ket ris­ing 1 per­cent and the Jas­daq mar­ket ad­vanced 0.5 per­cent.

On Wednesday, the lead­ers of the United States and Canada ex­pressed op­ti­mism that they could reach a new North Amer­i­can trade deal by a Fri­day dead­line, although Canada warned that a num­ber of tricky is­sues re­mained.

MSCI’s world equity in­dex, which tracks shares in 47 coun­tries, gained 0.39 per­cent while the S&P 500 and the Nas­daq U.S. stock in­dexes hit all-time highs.

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