Markets

European stocks end on a gloomy note, as Trump's threat of new tariffs rattles investors

Key Points
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended 0.7 percent down, off session lows. Almost all sectors finished the session in negative territory, with the exception of banks and utilities.
  • Late Monday, Trump said he could add another 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Consequently, concerns of a potential trade war intensified.
  • Europe's biggest gainer was Capita, closing up over 7.5 percent after announcing that it has been selected for a defense fire and rescue project.

European equities finished Tuesday's session in the red, as market-watchers across the globe continued to show concern over the possibility of a trade war between the U.S. and China.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended 0.7 percent down, well off its session lows. Almost all sectors finished the session in negative territory, with the exception of banks and utilities.

On the bourses front, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 dropped 0.36 percent, despite weakness from British miners, while France's CAC 40 fell 1.10 percent and Germany's DAX slipped 1.22 percent.

Jitters over a possible trade war intensified Tuesday after President Donald Trump warned of potential fresh tariffs on China. Late Monday, Trump said he could add another 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The move came after Beijing earlier said it impose duties on $50 billion of U.S. goods, which it claimed was in response to new U.S. levies announced last Friday.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry has since issued a response, stating Tuesday that the latest threat violated previous negotiations and consensus that had been reached between both nations.

As a result, trading across the board slumped Tuesday, with U.S. stocks trading sharply lower. The Dow tumbled some 300 points around Europe's market close, having wiped out all of its gains for the year during the early part of the session.

Basic resources slump

Looking across European stocks, basic resources was the worst performing sector Tuesday, off 2.47 percent by the close. Kaz Minerals was the sector's and the STOXX 600's biggest loser, slipping 6.8 percent. Other sectors to post heavy losses included autos, industrials and technology.

In individual stock news, there were only a handful of stocks that posted significant gains by the close. Inmarsat popped 3 percent, after reports that Echostar is considering increasing its bid after the former rejected a previous offer.

Meantime, Capita was Europe's biggest gainer, closing up 7.68 percent after announcing that it has been selected for a defense fire and rescue project. Air France KLM rose 5.4 percent, after unions suspended a planned four-day strike on June 23, Reuters reported.

At the other end of the STOXX 600, most stocks finished under pressure following a sell-off seen across global markets. Moneysupermarket.com tumbled over 4.5 percent after Barclays cut its target price on the stock.

Meanwhile, U.K. retail store Debenhams slumped 10.7 percent after it cut its profit forecast for the third time in as little as six months, according to Reuters.

In commodity markets, U.S. crude and Brent fell in the red Thursday afternoon ahead of a key meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producers later this week. There are expectations that OPEC countries and allies like Russia will gradually increase their output.

Meanwhile, markets will watch out for comments from central bankers who are meeting in Sintra, Portugal, this week.

On Tuesday, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi spoke at the event, stating that longer-term inflation expectations were well-anchored, but that the economy required monetary policy within the euro area "to remain patient, persistent and prudent."