European stocks edged lower on Thursday, as trade disputes were thrown back into the spotlight and investors awaited U.S. jobless claims data.
The FTSE 100
which surged 2% on Wednesday despite the U.K. economy’s record plunge in the second quarter, was 1% down. U.S. stock futures
also pointed lower after yesterday’s Wall Street rally.
After solid gains in yesterday’s session, markets were seemingly taking a pause ahead of the U.S. jobless claims data set to be released later on Thursday. The deadlock over another round of U.S. stimulus also weighed on sentiment, as President Donald Trump said a deal is “not going to happen.”
With the U.S.-China tensions bubbling in the background and officials from both countries due to meet on Saturday to review their trade deal, the U.S. turned its attention to Europe.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said tariffs on European Union products, including whiskey and Airbus
aircraft, will remain unchanged, despite efforts by the plane maker to comply with a World Trade Organization decision over state aid.
The U.S. raised tariffs on €7.5 billion of EU products last year as retaliation for subsidies provided to Airbus. American officials had also threatened to raise tariffs or add new products this summer. Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said the fact it “failed to escalate the situation with fresh tariffs on vodka, gin and beer” prevented a market selloff.
Stocks in focus
shares fell 4%, after the travel operator swung to a €1.4 billion loss in the third quarter as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hit the company. The hotel, airline and cruise operator said dividend payments and share buybacks will be restricted to the term of the €1.2 billion stabilization package announced on Wednesday with the German government.
stock slipped 4.8%, as the Danish brewer said it expected operating profit to fall 10% to 15% this year. It also warned demand would remain under pressure in China in the second half and that European sales wouldn’t return to normal this year.