European stocks close higher as US-China trade war rumbles on

  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.2 percent higher, with business sectors pointing in different directions.
  • Thyssenkrupp shares rose during afternoon deals to close 2.4 percent higher after chief Heinrich Hiesinger offered his resignation.

European equities closed slightly in the green on Friday afternoon as investors monitored trade developments coming out of the U.S. and China.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.2 percent higher. While all major bourses were positive by a small margin, business sectors pointed in different directions.

Utilities led the gains, closing up 0.9 percent, followed by telecoms and media. Oil and gas was the poorest performer, closing 0.6 percent lower.

Meanwhile, autos ended trade 0.8 percent lower after a turbulent week, paring back further losses made earlier on in the afternoon. Carmakers had jumped 3 percent on Thursday after reported comments from the U.S. ambassador to Germany that President Donald Trump would halt threats of tariffs on imported European Union cars if the bloc in turn lifted its duties on U.S. vehicles.

Looking at individual stocks, Eurazeo climbed during the afternoon to close up 4.9 percent, becoming one of the day's top performers after a ratings upgrade from HSBC. Meanwhile, Thyssenkrupp shares rose during afternoon deals to close 2.4 percent higher after Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger offered his resignation just a week after signing a joint venture with Tata Steel.

Deutsche Bank shares finished trade 2.5 percent higher following a media report that J.P. Morgan and the Commercial Bank of China were assessing the possibility of buying the German lender. J.P. Morgan denied the report, but the shares continued to be boosted by the news.

British telecommunications firm Inmarsat foundered at the other end of the spectrum, closing 8 percent lower following an improved takeover offer from EchoStar.

Trade war offsets strong U.S. jobs report

Stateside, stocks rose during Friday's trade on the back of stronger-than-expected employment data, but investors were on edge amid concerns over an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 100 points, with McDonald's and Walgreens Boots Alliance outperforming. The S&P 500 traded 0.7 percent higher, with health care rising 1.1 percent. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.9 percent.

Overall, investors have been tracking events in global trade as U.S. moved forward with $34 billion worth of duties on Chinese products. China retaliated with its own tariffs. President Donald Trump said Thursday that an additional $16 billion tariffs on China could be due in the next couple of weeks.