June 25, 2018 / 7:39 AM / 3 months ago

Trade war sell-off hits European shares hard

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares slid further on Monday as investors on both sides of the Atlantic grew increasingly fearful of the threat of a global trade war and its impact on the world economy.

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Staff/Remote

The pan-European STOXX 600 index dropped 2 percent, with Britain's FTSE .FTSE and Frankfurt's .GDAXi DAX down respectively 2.3 percent and 2.4 percent.

“Things worsened as the U.S. markets got involved this Monday”, said Connor Campbell, an analyst for Spreadex, adding that losses turned “uglier as the afternoon wore on”.

Wall Street opened deep in the red and the Nasdaq .NDX was down 2.2 percent by the time of the European close.

A report that U.S. President Donald Trump planned to bar many Chinese companies from investing in U.S. technology firms and block more tech exports to Beijing hit Asian stocks overnight.

Europe’s tech sector .SX8P, which is mainly composed of hardware firms sensitive to trade barriers, fell 2.7 percent on the news, which could herald higher costs for companies.

Chipmakers BE Semiconductor (BESI.AS), Siltronic (WAFGn.DE), Infineon (IFXGn.DE), STMicro (STM.MI) and ASML (ASML.AS) were big fallers, down 3 percent to 9 percent.

Harley-Davidson Inc HOG.N said on Monday it would move production of motorcycles shipped to the European Union from the United States to its international facilities and forecast the trading bloc’s retaliatory tariffs would cost the company $90 million to $100 million a year.

Facing retaliatory tariffs from the European Union, Harley-Davidson (HOG.N) said it would move production of motorcycles shipped to the EU away from the United States and forecast the tariffs would cost the company $90 million to $100 million a year.

The autos sector .SXAP, a key target for Trump who said on Friday he aimed to hike tariffs on EU car imports by 20 percent, fell 2.4 percent, marking its seventh straight day of losses.

Analysts have downgraded their expectations for global autos stocks earnings worldwide as the trade war has deepened in recent weeks.

Investors have grown more risk-averse with the increasing tensions over trade, driving some to reconsider their pro-cyclical positioning.

“We recommend buying into trade-newsflow-driven market weakness as the stronger growth is what should ultimately prevail,” said JP Morgan equity strategist Mislav Matejka.

Among individual stocks, French satellite group Eutelsat (ETL.PA) fell 6.2 percent after it confirmed it was considering making an offer for its British rival Inmarsat (ISA.L). Its possible target rose 4.3 percent.

Italian cable maker Prysmian (PRY.MI) fell 10 percent after it cut its guidance due to additional expected costs related to issues with its UK WesternLink undersea cable project.

Among stand-out gainers, Danish medical equipment maker Ambu (AMBUb.CO) jumped 6.5 percent to the top of the STOXX after JP Morgan started coverage of it with an “overweight” rating.

Telenet (TNET.BR) gained 5.1 percent after starting a 300 million-euro share buy-back program.

Reporting by Helen Reid and Julien Ponthus; Editing by Alison Williams

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