European Shares Retreat As US-Iran Tensions Flare Up

European stocks were moving lower on Wednesday amid worries that U.S.-Iran tensions may escalate.

Iran fired a series of rockets at two U.S.-Iraqi airbases early this morning, raising fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to make a statement to the nation later today after consulting his security advisors.

The pan European Stoxx 600 dropped 0.4 percent to 415.95 after rising 0.3 percent in the previous session. The German DAX, France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 were down between 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent.

Deutsche EuroShop AG shares slumped 6.5 percent. The real estate investment company said it anticipates a negative pre-tax valuation result for 2019 of about 123.0 million euros from unrealized and non-cash changes in the market values of the investment properties and costs in connection with capital expenditures in relation to the center portfolio. It was previously expected to be negative 58.3 million euros.

Saint-Gobain shares dropped 1.1 percent. The company has acquired Sonex in Brazil, a company specialized in the manufacture and supply of acoustic ceiling systems, marketed in particular under the Sonex, Nexacustic and Fiberwood brands.

Aerospace firm Safran lost about 1 percent as a Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 carrying at least 170 people crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran.

Anglo American lost 2 percent after the mining giant said it was in advanced talks to buy fertilizer maker Sirius Minerals. Shares of the latter soared 33 percent.

J Sainsbury also fell around 2 percent after the supermarket revealed a 0.7 percent fall in total retail sales for the third-quarter.

Greggs Plc., a bakery food-on-the-go retailer, dropped more than 1 percent despite raising profit forecasts.

NMC Health plunged 15 percent and Finablr slumped 18 percent after major shareholders of the two companies sold stakes.

In economic releases, German factory orders decreased unexpectedly in November, figures from Destatis revealed.

New orders in manufacturing fell 1.3 percent, confounding expectations for an increase of 0.2 percent. Orders had increased by a revised 0.2 percent in October.

French consumer confidence deteriorated for the first time in a year in December, survey results from the statistical office Insee showed.

The consumer confidence index fell more-than-expected to 102 in December from revised 105 in November. This was the first decline since December 2018. The expected reading was 104.

U.K. house prices logged their fastest growth this year in December, data from the Lloyds Bank subsidiary Halifax and IHS Markit showed.

House prices increased 1.7 percent on a monthly basis, faster than the 1.2 percent increase in November. This was the fastest gain seen this year and exceeded the expected rate of 0.6 percent.



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