European Markets Pause after Monday’s Heavy Selling; Edge Lower

As the world keenly follows events around the United States and China regarding their trade talks, markets in Europe edged lower on Tuesday morning. On a broader basis, European markets have taken a pause this morning after heavy selling on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to hike tariffs on China.

The unfolding comes even as China’s Vice premier Liu He confirmed his delegation would be in Washington DC for the scheduled trade talks.

In Tuesday’s morning session, Europe’s STOXX Europe 600 appeared to flat-line, with mid-morning deals traded around the flatline in mid-morning trading deals seeing minimal activity.

The telecoms stocks remained the top performing shares in the market with an upsurge of just 1.2%.  Bank stocks fared worse than all other stocks as they slid by over 1% on average. HSBC led the way sliding 1.9% while Standard Chartered followed closely tanking 1.6%.

In the auto industry, the BMW share prices declined by about 1.1% following the top German carmaker’s dismal performance in Q1. The company reported a 78% decline in profits in the first quarter as it suffered the effects of biting legal provisions and related costs.

Elsewhere, the shares of Thomas Cook spiked, climbing by more than 10%. This came after the Lufthansa group confirmed it had plans for a non-binding offer targeting the British company’s Condor. According to reports, Lufthansa also has plans to buy off Thomas Cook’s remaining airlines.

Across Belgium, drinks manufacturer AB InBev’s earnings for the first quarter are out this Tuesday morning. The company’s shares traded nearly 1% higher in the morning trading session.

Also releasing its first-quarter earnings report is Allergen, an Irish-based pharmaceutical company.

Data-wise, figures show that German industrial orders gained marginally lower than expected in March, which ostensibly comes on the back of a two-month sharp decline. In terms of impact, the tiny gains brought almost no relief to a country that is home to Europe’s largest economy.