September 18, 2018 / 7:33 AM / 3 months ago

European shares little moved by U.S. trade war salvo

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LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - European shares opened little changed after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, and warned of duties on more products if China took retaliatory action.

At 0720 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 was down a meagre 0.02 percent. Germany’s DAX, home to large exporters and carmakers which are seen likely to suffer badly from an all out global trade war, was actually up 0.02 percent.

Other bourses in Europe such as Paris also made their way to positive territory, with the CAC 40 up 0.1 percent.

Thomas Costerg, senior U.S. economist at Pictet, said ahead of the U.S. trade announcement that investors might well be prepared for it and take the view that the Trump administration had shown some restraint as it could have slapped even higher tariffs.

“Ten percent could actually come as a relief”, he said, adding that such a figure would be “bad but manageable”.

Zalando Europe’s biggest pure online fashion retailer, was the worst performer, down close to 20 percent at 33.7 euros after blaming a long, hot summer for cutting its 2018 outlook.

The top gainer was Swiss chemical group Clariant, up 6.5 percent, after it announced it would merge its high-performance materials business with that of new anchor shareholder Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) , to focus on higher-value speciality chemicals. (Julien Ponthus; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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