June 18, 2018 / 7:39 AM / 6 months ago

European shares slip on trade tensions; Nexans down, M&A in focus

MILAN, June 18 (Reuters) - European shares dipped in early trading on Monday as worries over a trade war between the United States and China kept investors on the edge, while cable maker Nexans plummeted after a profit warning.

By 0728 GMT the STOXX 600 was down 0.3 percent following losses in Asia after U.S. President Donald Trump cranked up trade tensions by going ahead with tariffs on Chinese imports, prompting Beijing to immediately respond in kind.

Among other national benchmarks, the UK’s FTSE 100 was flat, while Germany’s DAX declined 0.5 percent.

France’s Nexans fell 18.2 percent after the company warned that an “abrupt deterioration” of its high-voltage activities was likely to translate into lower profits for the full year.

The warning also weighed on Italian rival Prysmian, which fell 2.2 percent.

French gas and power group Engie fell 2.2 percent after saying unscheduled outages at its Belgian nuclear reactors will have an impact of 250 million euros on its 2018 core and net profit.

Elsewhere, deal-making activity drove stock moves.

Norwegian Air Shuttle rose 9 percent after Lufthansa said it was in contact with the Norwegian carrier over a possible combination.

Lufthansa gained 0.3 percent.

Mid-sized bank Virgin Money rose 1.6 percent after CYBG agreed a 1.7 billion-pound, all-share deal to acquire its rival and create Britain’s sixth-largest bank.

Aerospace supplier Cobham soared 6.6 percent after an upgrade from Morgan Stanley. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni Editing by Catherine Evans)

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