European stocks on Thursday edged up slightly from one-month lows, as the specter of a new trade war, combined with a sputtering economy, damaged sentiment.
After suffering its worst single-day loss in nearly 11 months on Wednesday, the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.00% increased 0.17% to 378.17.
Germany was closed for a holiday.
Ahead of key data on the U.S. service sector, the final reading of eurozone services PMI for September was revised lower to 51.6 from the initial 52 reading, and U.K. services PMI fell into contraction territory as it fell to 49.5 from 50.6.
The U.S. will introduce fresh tariffs on $7.5 billion of European Union goods following a World Trade Organization victory.
“With markets already looking vulnerable over concerns about a manufacturing recession starting to bleed into a slowdown in the services sector, the timing of the WTO ruling could not have come at a worse time for already jittery investors, along with the U.S. response to apply tariffs to a wide range of goods including malt whisky, French wines, and a range of food items, from October 18th,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analysts at CMC Markets UK.
Analysts at Jefferies said the new tariffs actually weren’t as bad as it feared for European alcoholic beverage makers. Remy Cointreau RCO, +4.81% shares jumped 6% and Pernod Ricard RI, +2.95% rose 3.6%, as cognac, champagne and liqueurs from France were excluded from the tariff list. Diageo DGE, +1.49% and Campari CPR, +1.06% shares also rose.
Airbus AIR, +3.25% was another gainer, rising 4%, as parts made by one of its plants in Alabama will not be subject to new sanctions.
H&M HM.B, +6.41% shares jumped 7% as the retail chain reported a stronger-than-forecast profit.