European Equities Fall as Tensions in Hong Kong Escalate

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By Investors Hub

European stocks have fallen on Tuesday, extending losses from the previous session as trade worries, escalating tensions in Hong Kong after months of political unrest and Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s loss in primary elections dented investors’ appetite for risk.

Market participants also kept a close eye on Italy, where the Senate meets today to set a crucial date for a no-confidence vote that could spell the end of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s populist government.

While the German DAX Index has tumbled by 1.1 percent, the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both down by 0.8 percent.

Automakers BMW, Daimler, Renault and Peugeot have slumped after industry data showed Chinese auto sales sank again in July, extending a yearlong contraction in the industry’s biggest global market.

Luxury carmaker Aston Martin has also tumbled. According to the Financial Times, hedge funds have taken record short positions in the debt and equity of the company.

Henkel shares have also plunged after the German consumer goods firm slashed its annual outlook for sales and earnings, citing a slowdown in China.

On the other hand, meal-kit delivery firm HelloFresh has soared as it reported its first quarterly underlying operating profit since it listed in 2017.

In economic news, German investor confidence dropped sharply in August to its lowest level since the end of 2011, survey data from the ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research showed.

The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany tumbled to -44.1 in August from -24.5 in July, hitting its lowest level since December 2011. Economists had forecast a score of -28.

The U.K. unemployment rate increased in three months to June, while average earnings grew at the fastest pace in eleven years, data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

The jobless rate increased by 0.1 percentage points sequentially to 3.9 percent in the three months to June. Unemployment rose by 31,000 to 1.33 million.

In the three months to June, employment increased by 115,000 to reach a record 32.81 million, but the employment rate remained unchanged at 76.1 percent.

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