European stocks trade flat as US-China trade conflict escalates – CNBC

European stocks were little changed Tuesday after the Donald Trump administration decided to impose 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index traded barely above the flatline in early afternoon trade. Banks, retail, industrials and healthcare were among the worst performing sectors.

Market focus across the world is largely attuned to developments in the escalating trade conflict between U.S. and China. President Donald Trump will impose 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, and those duties will rise to 25 percent at the end of the year, according to a Monday announcement.

The White House removed about 300 goods from a previously proposed list of affected products, including smart watches, some chemicals and other products such as bicycle helmets and high chairs.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said the country has no choice but to retaliate against the latest round of U.S. tariffs in order to safeguard its rights and interest in a free trade world.

European tech stocks, part of the greater supply chain for big tech manufacturers, were trading lower on Tuesday following Trump’s announcement. Among those, AMS was down 0.28 percent and shares of STMicroelectronics were off by 0.1 percent.

Retail stocks were also under-performing Tuesday. Zalando shares slumped to the bottom of the Stoxx 600, down 12.67 percent, after the retailer cut its 2018 guidance for the second time in two months. The German company said the summer heat wave delayed a switch to the winter season and will impact full-year earnings.

Swiss chemicals firm Clariant was trading up by 7 percent, making it one of the best performers, after announcing that it will enter into a new joint venture in high performance materials with new shareholder, Saudi Arabia’s SABIC.

British online supermarket retailer Ocado was a bright spot in the sector with the stock up 5.194 percent after its sales growth rose 11.5 percent in the third quarter from the same period a year ago.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned Tuesday that banks in the euro zone should reduce their stock of non-performing loans further to boost lending and improve profitability.

Ferrari hosted its first capital markets day since the passing of former CEO Sergio Marchionne earlier this summer. The Italian supercar’s stock underwent volatile trade on Tuesday — at one point trading was briefly suspended — as it presented a hotly anticipated mid-term business plan. It unveiled two new Monza models, the single-seater SP1 and two-seater SP2. Shares traded 0.8 percent higher in afternoon trade.