European shares inch lower ahead of Sino-U.S. trade deal; fourth quarter earnings eyed

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 10: (EDITORS NOTE - a fisheye lens was used in the creation of this image) The DAX Index board is pictured during a trading session at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on February 10, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. According to media reports Deutsche Boerse, which owns the Frankfurt exchange, is in talks to buy NYSE Euronext, which owns the New York Stock Exchange as well as exchanges in Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam and Brussels. Should the acquisition go through the new company would be home to publicly traded companies worth USD 15 trillion, or about 28 percent of global stock-market value. (Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)

(Reuters) – European shares treaded water on Tuesday, as investors awaited the signing of an initial trade truce to end a prolonged U.S.-China tariff dispute, with attention also turning to the fourth-quarter corporate earnings season.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.2% by 0812 GMT in its third straight day of declines.

The Phase 1 Sino-U.S. trade deal, due to be signed in Washington on Wednesday, marks the first step in winding down the prolonged and damaging trade war.

In further signs of goodwill, the U.S. Treasury Department on Monday dropped China’s designation as a currency manipulator, while another report said China had pledged to increase buying of U.S. manufactured goods over the next two years.

European chemicals stocks .SX4P were the worst performing sector on Tuesday, shedding about 0.8%.

Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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