The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished the session provisionally down 0.33% in afternoon trade, autos leading losses with a 1.5% fall as the majority of sectors and major bourses dropped into the red. Utilities were the standout performers, gaining 0.7%.
European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX
Weak economic data out of Germany and the euro zone compounded fears within Europe, with the German economy contracting in the second quarter.
Earlier, Asian stocks tumbled Thursday, led by the Japanese Nikkei 225, which fell 1.56%.
Stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 800 points, posting its worst day of 2019 and falling to a two-month low. Shortly after the open Thursday, all three major indices were hovering unsteadily around the flat-line.
Investors are monitoring mixed messages from China on Thursday regarding the trade war. After the Chinese State Council Tariff Committee said Beijing would have to take necessary counter-measures to President Trump’s latest tariff threat, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson struck a softer tone, saying in a statement that China hopes to “meet the U.S. halfway” on trade issues.
Stocks on the move
Danish beer maker Carlsberg was up 4.2% having earlier hit a fresh all-time high after it reported promising first-half earnings, raising revenue by 6.5% amid strong growth in Asia.
Shares of Dutch insurance group Aegon tumbled 7.7% two days after it announced the appointment of the head of NN Group, its biggest domestic rival, as its new chief executive.
Danish facility services company ISS fell 9.4% to the bottom of the European blue chip index, while United internet shares slid 6.2%, climbing off a six-year low earlier in the session after the German provider cut its full-year outlook.
Markets in Italy are closed for a public holiday.