Stock market in Europe hovering around flatline with deepening U.S.-China trade dispute

Stock market in the Europe didn’t see much fluctuation today while hovering around the flatline today amid a deepening U.S.-China trade dispute.

Stoxx 600 was almost flat today with almost every sector in the red. Oil and gas stocks fared particularly bad in early deals, amid growing geopolitical tensions.

Reports of the US moving to punish Russia with sanctions over the Kremlin’s alleged involvement in the poising of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England, are believe to have a negative impact on the stocks.

According to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, the sanctions will go into effect on or around August 22. China also moved ahead with imposition of additional tariffs of 25 percent on $16 billion worth of U.S. fuel and steel imports, in retaliation to planned extra duties from the U.S. on Chinese products set to be enforced from August 23.

Looking across the European benchmark, Adidas was up by more than 7 percent after reporting its latest earnings. Adidas showed stronger-than-anticipated second-quarter net profit, despite taking an impairment charge on its struggling Reebok brand.

Pandora shares were also up by about 3 percent after its CEO announced he is leaving his position. This followed a profit warning on Wednesday.

Shares of Tui sank 7 percent despite it saying it’s on track to deliver a 10 percent rise in profit this year, sticking to its guidance.

The British pound remained under pressure against the dollar Thursday morning, although it pared losses seen in the previous session slightly. Concerns over the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union continued into Thursday, with ongoing fears of a no-deal Brexit. U.K. Trade Minister Liam Fox’s comments over the weekend that the chances of a hard exit had been increased to 60-40 from 50-50 weighed on sentiment.

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