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Europe Markets: European stocks lose ground on U.S.-China tensions

Europe Markets

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 12, 2020 shows the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany.


daniel roland/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

European stocks on Thursday took a step back, as the world’s two largest economies continue to clash and ahead of the latest decision from the European Central Bank.

Up 5% over the last month, the Stoxx Europe 600
SXXP,
-0.45%

slipped 0.6%

Losses also were seen for the German DAX
DAX,
-0.32%
,
French CAC 40
PX1,
-0.40%

and U.K. FTSE 100
UKX,
-0.28%
.

China, where the coronavirus originated, reported a 3.2% rise in gross domestic product in the second quarter, though it also reported a surprise decline in retail sales for June.

Meanwhile U.S.-China tensions continue to flare. The U.S. is weighing a sweeping travel ban on Chinese Communist Party officials, according to the New York Times. China recently imposed travel restrictions on U.S. lawmakers including Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

The Shanghai Composite
SHCOMP,
-4.49%

tumbled 4.5%.

The European Central Bank isn’t expected to change interest rates or its quantitative easing program at Thursday’s meeting, so attention will focus on President Christine Lagarde’s press conference, which comes ahead of a European Union leaders meeting to discuss the proposed 750 billion euro recovery fund.

Of stocks on the move, Zalando
ZAL,
+2.50%

climbed as the Berlin online retailer raised its earnings guidance following a strong quarter.

GVC Holdings
GVC,
-5.29%

fell after reporting a 22% decline in second-quarter net gaming revenue and announcing the retirement of its chief executive, Kenneth Alexander.

Heineken
HEIA,
-4.43%

dropped as the brewer reported a 13% drop in volumes during the first half, sending its adjusted profit down by 76%.

Dow futures
YM00,
-0.53%

fell 152 points. On Wednesday, the S&P 500
SPX,
+0.90%

rose 0.9% while the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+0.59%

added 0.6%.

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