Europe Markets: Europe stocks trade lower as German economy heads toward recession

Europe stocks traded lower on Wednesday after data showing the Continent’s largest economy contracted and eurozone industrial production declined.

After halting a two-day losing run on Tuesday, the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -0.55%  declined 0.12% to 371.96, with banks including UniCredit UCG, -2.84%  and Danske Bank DANSKE, -2.89%  lower.

The U.K. FTSE 100 UKX, -0.44%  gained 0.1% to 7258.5, the German DAX DAX, -0.91%  fell 0.3% to 11714.89 and the French CAC 40 PX1, -0.83%  weakened 0.3% to 5346.88.

U.S. stock futures ES00, -0.56%  pointed to a decline for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.44%   at the open.

What’s moving markets

The state of the global economy returned to focus a day after relief from the U.S. government delaying tariffs on Chinese consumer products.

Germany’s economy shrank by 0.1% in the second quarter, according to data released by Destatis, the statistics agency.

“The external backdrop is set to remain challenging due to persistent weakness in global demand amid re-escalated U.S.-China trade tensions and the increased likelihood of a no-deal Brexit,” said Iaroslav Shelepko, an economist at Barclays. “ Given varied risks, a gloomy global trade outlook and elevated uncertainty, we expect the economy to post another mild decline in the third quarter and therefore enter a technical recession even before Brexit and U.S.-E.U. trade risks are due to crystallize.”

The economy in the eurozone as a whole rose 0.2%, Eurostat reported, with Spain’s economy rising 0.5%, France’s economy improving by 0.2% and Italy’s economy staying flat.

Perhaps more concerning to markets was the 1.6% downturn in eurozone industrial production in June, as well as the softest Chinese industrial production growth in 17 years.

Focus stocks

Schindler Holding SCHP, -3.92%  fell 4% as the elevator maker said markets may “slightly weaken over the remainder of the year” alongside a 2.8% decline in first-half operating profit. Its guidance for an annual net profit between 900 million and 940 million francs compares to consensus around 970 million francs. Rival ThyssenKrupp TKA, -4.14%  fell 3.4%.

Straumann Holding STMN, +3.39%  shares rose 3.3% as first-half earnings for the dental implant maker came in ahead of forecast and its sales guidance was upgraded.

Admiral Group ADM, +4.58%  shares advanced 4% as the British insurer reported a 4% rise in first-half pretax profit and an increase in its dividend.

Drugmaker Sanofi SAN, +2.14%  saw its shares rise 2% as UBS upgraded the company to buy from neutral, saying the pipeline of drugs “looks lackluster” but isn’t empty, and that it’s underperformed rivals like Novartis NVS, +0.02%  , Roche ROG, -0.33%   and Johnson & Johnson JNJ, +1.13%  .

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