European markets higher after latest trade war jolt

European stocks were slightly higher Thursday morning, as investors consolidated steep losses from the previous session when heightened fears of an escalation to the U.S.-China trade war soured sentiment.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up around 0.25 percent shortly after the opening bell, with almost all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Gerresheimer led the gains in Europe, up by 6 percent, after announcing an extension of its business model and an increase of its growth forecast. Moller-Maersk rose above 3 percent after a ratings upgrade from Goldman Sachs and Sky shares also rallied 2.7 percent after a renewed offer from Comcast. The latter submitted a $34 billion bid for the group just hours after Rupert Murdoch’s Fox had increased its offer too.

Norway’s biggest lender DNB ASA fell to the bottom of the index, off by 5 percent, after posting second-quarter earnings.

Market focus is largely attuned to the next potential steps in the tit-for-tat trade dispute. China has accused the U.S. of bullying and warned it could take further retaliatory measures against U.S. tariffs, although it was unclear exactly how Beijing would hit back. In the previous session, global equities slumped after President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Back in Europe, market players monitored the second and final day of talks between NATO leaders at the Brussels summit.

On the data front, the euro area is scheduled to publish industrial production data for May at around 10 a.m. London time.