The U.S. said it will impose further tariffs on Chinese goods starting August 23, 2018.
It is expected that 25 percent import taxes are going to applied to about $16 billion of annual imports.
Elsewhere, the pound was under pressure due to Brexit uncertainty.
Silvia Amaro | Ryan Browne
European stocks traded mixed on Wednesday as investor kept a close eye on corporate earnings and trade tensions.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was trading flat. Retail was among the worst-performing sectors, dragged down by ratings downgrades and disappointing earnings. Ahold Delhaize fell over 2 percent after reporting second-quarter sales below expectations.
Health care stocks were also under particular pressure. H.Lundbeck fell 13 percent after announcing plans to expand to the Chinese market and Novo Nordisk was down 4 percent after posting lower-than-expected second-quarter sales.
Tire maker Nokian Renkaat jumped nearly 3 percent, after reporting results that beat analysts’ forecasts. The Dutch lender ABN AMRO also rose nearly 4 percent after reporting stronger-than-expected profits for the second quarter of the year.
New tariffs on China
Investors are digesting developments overnight after the U.S. said it will impose further tariffs on Chinese goods starting August 23, 2018. It is expected that 25 percent import taxes are going to applied to about $16 billion of annual imports. A first set of tariffs, on $34 billion worth of goods, went into effect in July.
Traders and market observers were also given a surprise from Elon Musk’s Tesla on Tuesday, after the firm’s boss said he was considering taking it private at $420 a share. Tesla shares jumped by as much as 8.5 percent following Musk’s announcement; trading of the stock was then halted, and the share price surged once again after trade resumed.
In other corporate news, 21st Century Fox filed paperwork for its proposed £14 ($18) per share takeover of British broadcaster Sky on Tuesday, although it is still short of Comcast’s £14.75 per share bid for the coveted media asset.
Elsewhere, the pound hit fresh lows on Wednesday with traders citing increased concerns that the U.K. might leave the EU without a formal trade agreement as the main reasoning for the sell-off.