European Stocks Decline After Trump Escalates Fight With China

(Bloomberg) -- European stocks fell after U.S. President Donald Trump ramped up his rhetoric against China, while American jobless claims data added to concern about the impact of the pandemic.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.8% at the close. The volume of trading was 17% lower than the 30-day average as Nordic and Swiss markets were closed for a holiday, while countries including France and Germany had a public holiday even as trading was open.

Trump criticized China’s leadership regarding the pandemic, the latest salvo in a feud that’s adding to investor worries. Separately, data showed 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment claims last week, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Congress will very likely need to pass more stimulus legislation for the U.S. economy.

A rebound in European stocks from mid-March lows has lost momentum in May as optimism about reopening economies and stimulus has warred with concern about a second wave of infections and bleak economic and corporate reports.

European Stocks Decline After Trump Escalates Fight With China

“After an impressive rally in the previous session, investors are pausing for breath on Thursday,” said Fiona Cincotta, a market analyst at City Index. “Rising tensions between U.S. and China and China and Australia are keeping risk appetite on edge.”

Among notable movers, Deutsche Lufthansa AG climbed 2.7% after saying it’s close to a multibillion euro bailout deal that would see the state become its biggest shareholder. Whitbread Plc tumbled 13% after saying it’s planning a 1 billion-pound ($1.2 billion) rights offer.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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