European markets opened higher Tuesday as stocks began to mitigate the sharp downturn caused by China’s announcement of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports Monday.
The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.5% in the opening minutes of trade. Sector wise, autos made a strong start to trading, climbing 1.3%, with the majority of sectors starting the session the green.
Beijing announced Monday that it would raise tariffs on $60 billion worth U.S. goods starting on June 1 as the ongoing trade war between the world’s largest economies intensifies.
Stocks in Asia slipped across all major indexes Tuesday, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index taking the biggest hit in a 1.58% decline, as shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent dropped more than 2%.
Stateside, President Donald Trump said Monday that he had not decided whether to go through with tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods, but the Office of U.S. Trade Representatives kicked off the necessary legal process to impose the further duties.
Back in Europe, the United Kingdom’s foreign minister has warned of a possible conflict in the already unstable Gulf region as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks with European leaders on the situation in Iran.
Shares of Bayer are down 6% in pre-markets, after a California jury hit the German pharmaceutical giant with a $2 billion punitive damages award to a couple who claimed its Roundup weed killer caused their cancer. It was the largest U.S. jury verdict to date in litigation over the chemical.
In corporate news, German insurer Allianz posted a small rise in net profit for the first quarter from the same time period last year, marginally ahead of expectations, and confirmed its targets for 2019. Net profit rose to 1.969 billion euros ($2.21 billion).
Thyssenkrupp, Volkswagen, and Merck Group are all set to report earnings Tuesday.