European shares fall as U.S.-China tensions, virus cases rise

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The pan-European STOXX 600 index (STOXX) fell 0.5% by 0713 GMT, with banks (SX7P), energy firms (SX7E), insurers (SXIP) and automakers (SXAP) falling between 0.8% and 0.9%.

Asian stocks made cautious gains after the Trump administration said it will tighten curbs on China’s Huawei Technologies Co [HWT.UL], to crack down on its access to commercially available chips, while ratcheting up tensions with Beijing.

UK-listed miner BHP Group (AX:BHP), (L:BHPB) slipped 2.2% as it reported a 4% drop in annual profit that also missed analysts’ estimate. It also warned that most major world economies except China will have to bear the brunt of a coronavirus-led downturn this year.

Danish Jewellery maker Pandora (CO:PNDORA) tumbled 5.9% as it said the number of closed shops increased slightly in August, and the current level of store traffic is “well below” the level before the lockdowns.

Britain’s Marks & Spencer (L:MKS) rose 1.8% after it revealed plans to cut a further 7,000 jobs, dealing the latest blow to the beleaguered retail sector from the COVID-19 crisis.