Europe News

European stocks close slightly higher but U.S.-China tensions cap gains

Key Points
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by over 0.2% provisionally, with telecoms stocks leading the gains.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday issued executive orders that would ban transactions with WeChat and TikTok. 
  • The Labor Department's closely-watched nonfarm payrolls data showed the U.S. added 1.763 million jobs in July.

European stocks closed slightly higher Friday after a stronger-than-expected U.S. federal jobs report and amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by over 0.2% provisionally, with telecoms stocks leading the gains with a 0.9% rise. Basic resources shares were the worst performers, falling 1.4%.

But gains were capped by fears of an escalating U.S.-China technology war. U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday issued executive orders that would ban transactions with WeChat and TikTok in 45 days.

Meanwhile in coronavirus news, the World Health Organization reiterated Thursday that late-stage human trials don't necessarily mean a Covid-19 vaccine will be widely distributed soon.

Stateside, the Labor Department's closely-watched nonfarm payrolls data showed the U.S. added 1.763 million jobs in July, outstripping expectations of a 1.4 million rise. On Wall Street, stocks were mostly lower due to the concerns over escalating U.S.-China tensions. 

In Europe, France's June trade balance came in at -7.96 billion euros ($-9.43 billion) compared to a revised -7.46 billion euros in May, according to customs office figures released Friday.

German industrial output climbed 8.9% in June, buoyed by a 14.9% rise in exports fueled mostly by China.

In terms of individual share price action, Hikma Pharmaceuticals bounced almost 11% by afternoon trade after the London-listed company reported a first-half profit jump and upped its sales outlook.

At the bottom of the European blue-chip index, TP ICAP fell almost 8% after its first-half earnings report, in which the London-listed brokerage cautioned of a meek start to the second half.