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Europe close: Stocks slump amid trade worries

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Thursday 15 Aug 2019

Europe close: Stocks slump amid trade worries

(Sharecast News) - Europe's main stockmarket gauges finished in the red again after Beijing said that it would retaliate for the latest round of US trade tariffs.
Mid-morning, China' State Council Tariff Committee said that Beijing "has no choice but to take necessary measures to retaliate."

In a statement, the council labelled Washington's decision a violation of the agreement reached between the two countries at the G20 leaders' summit in Osaka, Japan, on 28 June.

But a barrage of better than expected data and survey readings Stateside helped to lift stocks off their lows, including on monthly retail sales and the results of two closely-followed factory sector surveys.

By the end of trading, the benchmark Stoxx 600 was down by 0.29% at 365.09, alongside a drop of 0.70% to 11,412.67 for the German Dax and a fall of 2.53% to 20,020.28 on the FTSE Mibtel.

To take note of, in Italy there was talk that the recent upheaval in the governing coalition could result in the League being sidelined by a coalition between the Five Star movement and the Socialist PD party, instead of taking over the reins of government, despite its sharp rise in voter polls.

Front month crude oil futures meanwhile were dropping by 2.48% to $58.04 a barrel while euro/dollar was rising by 0.15% to 1.11538.

Italian government bond yields rallied alongside, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year note down by 17 basis points to 1.33%, while the US Treasury yield curve had undone its inversion - albeit by the slightest of margins.

There was little fresh economic data out of the single currency bloc for investors to chew on come Thursday, although following the Norwegian central bank, some analysts said that rate-setters in Oslo were likely done with raising interest rates.

Monetary policymakers at Norges Bank kept short-term official interest rates unchanged at 1.25% as expected.

But Capital Economics's Davix Oxley detected a 'dovish' shift in the tone of their policy statement.

"In contrast to the market, we think that the Bank has already reached the end of its tightening cycle and we now forecast interest rates to remain on hold until at least 2021," Oxley said in a research note sent to clients.



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