European shares were little changed by Friday’s close, as investors remained cautious amid new trade threats.
The pan-European STOXX 600 closed relatively flat, up 0.08 percent, while the region’s sectors pointed in different directions at the close. On the week, the STOXX 600 however slumped 2.22 percent.
Europe’s major bourses were mixed by the close, with the U.K.’s FTSE 100 off 0.56 percent, the French CAC 40 up 0.16 percent and the German DAX practically unchanged, up 0.04 percent. Peripheral markets closed mostly lower.
Looking at Europe’s prominent industries, travel and leisure closed slightly down following some rating downgrades. Sodexo slipped 2.36 percent, after Morgan Stanley, Berenberg and Credit Suisse all slashed their target price on the French firm. British bookmaker William Hill also felt the heat, tumbling over 3 percent after HSBC and Credit Suisse cut their price targets.
Banks were some of the biggest losers however, down 0.93 percent. Shares of Deutsche Bank ended lower following reports that the Chinese group HNA intends to sell its 7.6 percent stake. And Denmark’s largest lender Danske Bank dropped 4.2 percent on fears that a money laundering scandal affecting its Estonian branch could be much bigger than previously thought. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the bank’s investigation into the scandal was looking at $150 billion of transactions, most of which flowed from Russia-linked firms.
Looking at individual stocks, EnQuest said that it is planning a rights issue for $138 million to buy the rest of an oilfield from BP. Shares of both groups closed lower, however EnQuest tumbled over 13 percent.
Sticking with the U.K., British Airways has reported a financial data breach of hundreds of thousands of customers. Shares in its parent company IAG fell 1.35 percent by the close. British Airways CEO Alex Cruz said the breach was the worst in 20 years.
Tech warns on tariffs
On Wall Street, stocks were relatively mixed around Europe’s close as traders digested nonfarm payrolls data and global trade tensions. A sharp lift in wage growth in August kept market players on edge about the prospect of tighter monetary policy from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Last month, the U.S. economy added 201,000 jobs, beating market forecasts.
Overall, market sentiment worldwide remained jittery over ongoing concerns over a trade war between the United States and China. In addition, President Donald Trump told a Wall Street Journal columnist Thursday that he will take his trade fights to Japan next.
Worries remain that Washington could impose further tariffs on Beijing targeting an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, after a window for public comments ended Thursday. Tech firms Dell, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard Enterprise warned the U.S. administration that day they would need protection from the impact of further levies, concerned a trade war will increase their costs. No tariffs on China were announced by Europe’s market close on Friday however.
And investors are still fearful of a further deepening of the sell-off in emerging markets amid uncertainty surrounding Argentina and Turkey’s economies.
On the data front, euro zone growth has come in higher by 0.4 percent in the second-quarter of the year in comparison with the first three months of 2018. On an annualized basis, growth stood at 1.5 percent, which was slightly below the 1.6 percent registered in the first-quarter of the year.