Technology shares pushed European stock markets lower on Friday after U.S. chipmaker Broadcom warned of a broad slowdown in demand due to trade tensions and the U.S. ban on Chinese mobile phone company Huawei Technologies. Disappointing industrial data out of China also dampened sentiment shortly after opening and the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.48% by 0754 GMT, with Germany's trade-sensitive DAX falling 0.5%.
The forecast of a $2 billion hit to sales at Broadcom, one of the biggest U.S. players in the chip sector, came as Chinese industrial output growth slowed to a more than 17-year of 5% in May and was among the clearest signs yet of the damage President Donald Trump's trade war may do to global growth. European semiconductor companies Infineon, AMS and STMicroelectronics, Siltronic, Dialog Semiconductor fell between 3% and 6%.
"Now you have a major company coming out and saying the trade war impact and Huawei's fallout is clearly having an impact on end demand and that is weighing on sentiment," said Mark Taylor, sales trader at Mirabaud Securities in London. Adding to the downbeat mood, China said it was raising anti-dumping duties on certain alloy-steel seamless tubes and pipes imported from the United States and the European Union as much as 10 times from previous rates.
The benchmark STOXX index was still on course to post its second consecutive week of gains as expectations of more monetary easing in Europe and the United States offsets the concerns over growth that drove a sell-off in May. Stocks are up 3% this month after falling 6% in May, the worst monthly performance in more than two years.
Utilities, typically a defensive play when the economic outlook turns down, was the only sector in the black, helped by a 1.2% rise in French firm Engie after it signed a deal with Fiat Chrysler to provide charging points for electric vehicles. Scor SE rose 2.3% and was the top gainer on the STOXX after JP Morgan upgraded the French re-insurer shares to "overweight" from "neutral" ahead of a new 3-year strategic plan due to be outlined in September. One big faller was DKSH Holdings, tumbling 7% after Credit Suisse downgraded shares of the Switzerland-based consultancy to "underperform".
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