Europe Markets

European markets close lower as U.S.-China tensions weigh; Pandora down 7.5%

Key Points
  • The Trump administration has moved to further tighten restrictions on Huawei by effectively cutting the Chinese firm off from foreign-made chips produced using U.S. technology.
  • Pandora shares fell 7.5% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after the Danish jeweler published full-year guidance showing a more substantial earnings drop than expected.

European stocks closed lower Tuesday as a choppy start to the week's trading continued, with investors monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and rising tensions between the U.S. and China.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 gave up its earlier gains and fell 0.6% for the session, with bank stocks falling 1.1% and oil and gas firms slipping 1.3%.

Market participants monitored the latest developments in the U.S.-China technology war. On Monday, President Donald Trump's administration moved to further tighten restrictions on Huawei by effectively cutting the telecommunications giant off from chips made by foreign firms that have been produced with U.S. software or technology.

Investors also kept a close eye on U.S. pressure on Bytedance, the Chinese owner of popular social media app TikTok. Last week, Trump signed an executive order giving the company more time to figure out a sale of its U.S. TikTok business.

Microsoft is currently seen as the frontrunner in the race to buy TikTok's operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand assets. But that changed late Monday after it emerged that Larry Ellison's Oracle was also in talks to acquire those units. Ellison is a known supporter of the president.

On Wall Street as European markets closed, the S&P 500 gave back earlier gains after briefly breaking above an all-time high that was set before the coronavirus pandemic.

Pandora shares fall

In earnings news, Pandora shares fell 7.5% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after the Danish jeweler published full-year guidance showing a more substantial earnings drop than expected.

At the top of the European blue chip index, British homebuilder Persimmon jumped more than 7.9% after reinstating its dividend due to a strong start to the second half.

Clariant jumped 4.8% after reports that the Swiss chemicals company is the subject of private equity interest.

Norway's huge sovereign wealth fund reported negative returns for the first half of the year on Tuesday, citing "major fluctuations" in equity markets over the period.