FILE PHOTO: Share traders start their trading systems at the start of the trading session the day after the Brexit deal vote of the British parliament at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo
January 17, 2019
MILAN (Reuters) – European shares fell on Thursday with banks leading the way after Societe Generale warned that tough market conditions would hit its quarterly results, while fresh frictions over Chinese tech giant Huawei that revived trade worries also weighed.
The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> benchmark index was down 0.6 percent by 0836 GMT, with most sectors trading in the red, while the exporter-heavy DAX index <.GDAXI> fell 1 percent and London’s FTSE <.FTSE> fell 0.4 percent.
Some U.S. lawmakers introduced on Wednesday bills that would ban the sale of U.S. chips to Huawei and other Chinese firms, while a Wall Street Journal report said U.S. federal prosecutors were investigating allegations that Huawei stole trade secrets.
“China are unlikely to shrug this off which is creating a risk off environment. Signs of retaliation from China could see stocks sink further,” said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group.
Autos <.SXAP>, which are highly sensitive to trade, were the biggest losers in early deals, down 1.6 percent, while tech <.SX8P> was also under pressure, down 0.6 percent, as chipmakers fell after Taiwan Semiconductor <2330.TW> forecast its steepest revenue fall in a decade.
In the banks sector, Societe Generale <SOGN.PA> shares were the biggest losers, down 4.3 percent. The French bank said its fourth-quarter results would be affected by tough market conditions and the impact of some asset sales.
Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine <VOES.VI> was another heavy faller, down 6.7 percent after another profit warning, while UK software firm Sage <SGE.L> shot to the top of the STOXX, after quarterly organic revenues rose 7.6 percent.
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Editing by Helen Reid)