European stocks mixed as trade war concerns weigh on tech

European stocks were mixed during Wednesday morning trade, amid elevated tensions between the U.S. and China over looming trade tariffs and investment restrictions.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was little changed from the previous session during mid-morning deals, with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions.

Technology stocks led the losses, down around 1 percent, after a slide in U.S. chip makers overnight. U.S. peer Micron was banned from selling chips in China late Tuesday, as heightened fears over trade frictions prompted a slump in global tech shares. Europe’s STMicroelectronics and Siltronic were the worst sectoral performers, both down over 2 percent.

Looking at individual stocks, French healthcare company Orpea rose towards the top of the European benchmark after HSBC raised its stock recommendation to “buy.” Shares of the Paris-listed company were up over 2.5 percent on the news.

Meanwhile, shares of Danske Bank dipped around 3 percent after Danish daily newspaper Berlingske cited new data in an Estonian money laundering legal case.

Trade frictions

Market focus is largely attuned to the ongoing U.S.-Sino trade row, with investors concerned that the dispute could soon derail a rare period of synchronized global growth. At the end of the trading week, Washington is set to impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods from Beijing. China is then expected to respond with charges of its own on U.S. products.

In Asia, equities slipped amid escalating fears of a full-blown trade war. MSCI’s broadest index, excluding Japan, edged around 0.2 percent lower on Wednesday.

Stateside, Wall Street shares gave up early gains to close lower ahead of the Independence Day holiday on Wednesday. Technology shares came under pressure, with Facebook falling over 2 percent after the Washington Post reported a federal probe on the data breach linked to Cambridge Analytica had been broadened.

Source: CNBC