European stocks slip on worries over U.S.-China tensions while Lufthansa and easyJet climb

European stocks slip on worries over U.S.-China tensions while Lufthansa and easyJet climb

Europe Markets

Published: May 21, 2020 at 5:13 a.m. ET

An Airbus A340 passenger aircraft operated by Lufthansa stand parked in a storage facility at Teruel airport on May 18, 2020, in Spain.

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European stocks declined on Thursday on concern over U.S.-China tensions, as data showed the economy has limped off the bottom.
Up 1% on Wednesday, the Stoxx Europe 600
SXXP,
-0.71%
dropped 0.8%
The German DAX
DAX,
-1.36%
fell 1.3%, the French CAC 40
PX1,
-0.96%
lost 1.1% and the U.K. FTSE 100
UKX,
-0.80%
declined 0.8%.
The losses came as the U.S. Senate approved sweeping new legislation Wednesday that could ultimately bar many Chinese companies from listing shares on U.S. exchanges, or otherwise raising money from American investors. U.S. President Donald Trump said China’s incompetence was responsible for “mass worldwide killing.”

The decline also came in European traders’ first opportunity to react to minutes from the last Federal Reserve interest-rate setting committee, in which members fretted about the possibility of a potential second wave of infections rattling the U.S. and global economies.
Global coronavirus infections passed 5 million, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Economic data showed a eurozone economy crawling off the bottom. The flash France purchasing managers index rose to 30.5 in May from 11.1 in April, the flash Germany PMI composite index rose to 31.4 from 17.4, and the flash U.K. composite index rose to 28.9 from 13.8 in April on scales where any reading below 50 indicates deteriorating conditions.
“The minor easing in the downturn compared to last month’s figures only serves to highlight the depth of the fall in April’s output and does not signal that the pathway is clear for an improvement in the manufacturing and services sectors,” said Duncan Brock, group director at CIPS, of the U.K. figures.
Lufthansa
LHA,
-0.02%
gained nearly 5% after saying it was in advanced talks for nearly €9 billion of state aid.
EasyJet
EZJ,
+5.37%
shares also rose nearly 5%, as the airline said it would resume flights on June 15 with a small schedule focused on U.K. and French domestic flights.
Whitbread
WTB,
-11.85%
shares slumped 14% after the Premier Inn owner announced it was selling £1 billion of shares.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
YM00,
-0.55%
fell 140 points ahead of the latest reading on U.S. jobless claims.

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