Friday, 18 Sep 2020

European shares fall as U.S.-China tensions, virus cases rise

(Reuters) – European shares fell on Tuesday as investors worried about escalating U.S.-China tensions and a resurgence in regional coronavirus cases, knocking shares of growth-sensitive cyclical sectors lower.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.5% by 0713 GMT, with banks .SX7P, energy firms .SX7E, insurers .SXIP and automakers .SXAP falling between 0.8% and 0.9%.

Asian stocks made cautious gains after the Trump administration said it will tighten curbs on China’s Huawei Technologies Co [HWT.UL], to crack down on its access to commercially available chips, while ratcheting up tensions with Beijing.

UK-listed miner BHP Group (BHP.AX), (BHPB.L) slipped 2.2% as it reported a 4% drop in annual profit that also missed analysts’ estimate. It also warned that most major world economies except China will have to bear the brunt of a coronavirus-led downturn this year.

Danish Jewellery maker Pandora (PNDORA.CO) tumbled 5.9% as it said the number of closed shops increased slightly in August, and the current level of store traffic is “well below” the level before the lockdowns.

Britain’s Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) rose 1.8% after it revealed plans to cut a further 7,000 jobs, dealing the latest blow to the beleaguered retail sector from the COVID-19 crisis.

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