European shares opened higher on Wednesday but the modest rebound failed to erase the previous session’s losses as investors’ fears about the trade dispute between the United States and China linger on.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.6 percent at 0830 GMT with gains spread acrossEuropean bourses and sectors.
The growing trade conflict has already hit investors hard and with both protagonists showing no signs of willingness to back down, many analysts fear the worst has yet to come for markets.
“It’s fair to say they have a long way further to fall if a compromise isn’t found,” said Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid, adding that “markets are starting to move towards pricing in this not being a short-term spat.”
Banking stocks added the most points, with Spain’s Banco Santander and Italy’s Unicredit rising 2.5 percent and 3 percent respectively in the wake of the Franco-German agreement to further the integration of the Euro zone.
Shares in Colruyt posted the best performance with a rise of over 10 percent, after the supermarket group reported yearly profits above expectations and Barclays raised its target price from 38 euros to 41 euros for the stock.
Second came French advertising company JCDecaux which jumped about 8 percent after submitting a non-binding offer for Australia’s APN Outdoor Group.
Ocado was up about 6 percent with a note from Peel Hunts analysts praising the group’s strategy and calling the British online group “the Microsoft of retail.”
Denmark’s Maersk gained about 3 percent after it announced a new Chief Finance Officer.
Berkeley was the biggest faller, down 4 percent after releasing full-year results. The UK builder warned of a 30 percent fall in pre-tax profit this year after delivering a better-than-expected “peak” performance in 2017/18.
French cognac maker Remy Cointreau also fell 2.6 percent as Société Generale downgraded the stock, arguing that “too much good news” had already been priced in.