European Equity Market Handover: From bad to ugly

China retaliated with its own trade war salvo on Monday

Stock market snapshot as of [13/5/2019 2:54 PM]

  • China retaliated with its own trade war salvo on Monday, applying tariffs on $60bn in U.S. goods to 25%, whilst serving 20% and 10% duties on a smaller categories of goods and leaving taxes on 595 items at 5%
  • The impact on markets was predictable and immediate: European stocks and U.S. stock index futures plumbed new session lows; perceived ‘safe havens’ like the yen, U.S. Treasury prices and gold extended gains
  • The tariff rises take place on 1st June, with Beijing allowing time for further planned talks—which aren’t yet scheduled—to potentially reach a breakthrough
  • The chances don’t look good. The relatively constructive—if combative—tone of Washington and Beijing in recent days has turned ugly. China will be “hurt very badly” if it doesn’t do a deal, said U.S. President Donald Trump. China went from still “cautiously optimistic” on Friday, to quote Vice Premier Liu He, to adamant that it will “never surrender to external pressure”
  • Amid existing tensions over U.S. sanctions on Iran, Saudi Arabia’s claim that two of its tankers were “sabotaged” brought a sharply bullish reaction from oil traders. Details of what exactly happened remain unclear, but the Brent benchmark last rose 2.7%

Corporate News

  • The oil sector is the only defined equity segment to gain. STOXX’s Oil & Gas index was up 0.3% just now
  • A brokerage upgrade of Denmark’s Aker BP that buoys the stock 3%, is the oil industry’s biggest riser

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