European Stocks Fall on Conflicting News on US-China Trade Talks

By Investors Hub

European stocks have fallen on Friday as conflicting messages over U.S.-China trade talks unnerved markets, offsetting better than expected trade data from China.

Reuters reported that a plan to roll back tariffs in phases has met opposition from some advisers to U.S. President Donald Trump, raising concerns about whether the two sides are really getting close to signing a phase one trade deal.

While the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 0.4 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.3 percent.

Miners have been among the hardest hit, with Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore showing notable moves to the downside.

Insurer Phoenix Group Holdings has slumped after former Aviva UK boss Andy Briggs was named as the new chief executive of the company.

Crédit Agricole shares have also tumbled despite the French lender delivering a third quarter net profit above expectations.

Insurance and asset management company Allianz has also moved lower after posting muted third quarter profit growth.

Swiss luxury goods group Compagnie Financiere Richemont has also tumbled after sales growth slowed in the first half.

On the other hand, Lloyd’s insurer Beazley Group has moved sharply higher. The company reported that the Group’s Gross premiums written for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 increased by 12 percent year on year to $2.19 billion.

In economic news, German exports rebounded at a faster than expected pace in September, despite signs of a mild recession, data from Destatis revealed.

Exports grew 1.5 percent month-on-month, in contrast to August?s 0.9 percent decrease. Shipments were forecast to grow only 0.3 percent.

Imports growth accelerated to 1.3 percent from 0.1 percent a month ago, while economists had forecast stagnation.

U.K. hiring activity remained subdued in October, dampened by political and economic uncertainty, the Report on Jobs from IHS Markit showed.

According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation/KPMG report, permanent job placements declined at a solid pace in October, as employers preferred to wait until there was greater clarity over the outlook on Brexit. At the same time, temp billings growth weakened to only a marginal pace.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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