European Shares Mostly Lower As Sino-US Tensions Weigh

European stocks were broadly lower on Tuesday as investors weighed the risks of worsening relationship between the U.S. and China.

Investors are worried that a trip by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan would raise tensions between the world’s two economic superpowers.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that Pelosi’s visit would lead to “very serious developments and consequences”. The White House has warned China against turning her visit into a crisis.

Additionally, the United States accused Russia of using Ukraine’s biggest nuclear power plant as a “nuclear shield” by stationing troops there, preventing Ukrainian forces from returning fire and risking a terrible nuclear accident.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was down 0.6 percent at 434.93 after closing 0.2 percent lower on Monday.

The German DAX dropped 0.6 percent and France’s CAC 40 index fell half a percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was marginally higher, helped by upbeat earnings updates from the likes of BP Plc and Greggs.

A.P. Moller-Maersk advanced 1.6 percent. The Danish shipping giant raised its full-year forecast for underlying operating profits to about $31bn from $24bn previously.

Italy’s top insurer Generali declined 1.4 percent despite confirming all targets under its 2022-2024 strategic plan.

French industrial group Bouygues rose about 1 percent despite reporting a fall in first-half net profit.

BP Plc rallied 3.6 percent as the energy giant hiked its dividend and accelerated share buyback after reporting its highest quarterly profit in 14 years. Shell shares advanced 1.1 percent.

Greggs jumped 2.4 percent after the bakery chain reported a slight increase in first-half pre-tax profit and said it is well placed to navigate the cost of living crisis.

Man Group plunged 5.2 percent after the fund manager reported its first decline in assets for a three-month period in more than two years.

In economic releases, U.K. house price inflation accelerated less-than-expected in July, after easing in the previous three months, survey results from the Nationwide Building Society showed.

The house price index logged a double-digit annual growth of 11.0 percent in July, faster than the 10.7 percent rise in June. However, this was slower than the economists’ forecast of 11.5 percent.

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