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European shares sink on fears of renewed U.S.-China trade war

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 2 weeks ago - Duration: 01:33s

European shares sink on fears of renewed U.S.-China trade war

As markets take fright at the threat of fresh US tariff hikes against China, European shares dropped broadly on Thursday as investors shunned risky assets.

As David Pollard reports, earnings were also in focus as more than seven major sectors lost over one per cent.

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European shares sink on fears of renewed U.S.-China trade war

With the knives apparently out again in US/China trade relations ... Europe's stock trading boards soon went red on Thursday in a broad-based sell-off, following on from Asia's slide.

There, major indices closed around one per cent down or more - putting Japan's Nikkei at a five week low - and China's market close to a 2 and half month low.

For Europe, losses in heavyweight bank stocks weighed the most, with Italian banks in focus.

Banco BPM dropped nearly 6 percent - Unicredit dipped despite above forecast results.

Steel giant ArcelorMittal also fell heavily after cutting demand forecasts.

Safety-minded investors pushed into telcos, utilities and real estate .... And on forex markets into the safe haven of Japan's yen - it surged to a 3-month high versus the dollar.

Washington says a round of tariff hikes against hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods will go ahead on Friday.

Trade deal talks are due to continue in the meantime - with investors hoping for a truce .... And China willing, it says, to meet the US half way.

But if not: (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE COMMERCE MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "China is fully prepared, determined and capable of defending its legal rights.

Thank you." More than seven major sectors lost above 1 percent.

Tariff-sensitive auto stocks slid 1.7 percent.

With the tariffs due to come into effect at one minute past midnight US time .... Europe's traders may already be wondering what Friday will bring.

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