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Europe open: Markets lower as trade conflict hits Chinese exports

Mon 09 December 2019 08:15 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - European stocks were lower on Monday morning after the release of weak Chinese trade data, though German exports surpassed forecasts.

At 0901 GMT, the Stoxx 600 was 0.1% lower at 406.98, as Germany's Dax fell by 0.1% to 13,151.47 and the French CAC 40 dipped by 0.3% to 5,856.96. Meanwhile, London's FTSE 100 was 0.1% lower at 7,234.06.

Though Chinese imports showed a slight improvement, data released by Beijing this weekend showed that exports fell by 1.1% in November as the amount of goods sent to the US declined by 23% amid the ongoing trade conflict.

CMC Markets analyst David Madden said: "This US-China trade saga will remain in focus this week as the Trump administration is still scheduled to slap tariffs on more than $150bn worth of Chinese imports on 15 December, unless something changes between now and then."

Data from Destatis showed that German exports beat expectations, posting a 1.2% month-on-month rise in October, compared with 1.5% growth in September, while imports remained flat.

Pantheon Macroeconomics analyst Claus Vistesen said: "The monthly data have been a poor guide to the quarterly GDP numbers this year, so we are less certain than usual about the underlying trend; at the very least we need to see more data, especially on import and export prices, which usually are a key driver of the deflated GDP net trade data.

"What's clear now, though, is that the run-rate in net exports will look better through 2019 as a whole compared to horror-show through 2018."

Among individual stocks, London-listed Tullow Oil plummeted after cutting production, suspending its dividend and announcing the immediate resignation of chief executive Paul McDade.

German lighting business Osram Licht surged after its shareholders accepted a $4.4bn takeover bid from Austrian chipmaker AMS, which found itself in the red.

French pharmaceutical outfit Ipsen continued to fall after the US food and drug administration on Friday halted clinical studies into the effects of its Palovarotene fibrodysplasia drug treatment, citing safety concerns.

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