The European stock markets took a step back on Friday after the recent substantial rise. The fear of cooling of the Chinese economy due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus led to restraint. At the Damrak, Wereldhave and Flow Traders went down after disappointing trade reports.
The AEX index on Beursplein 5 was 0.6 percent lower at 615.12 points around noon. The MidKap fell 1 percent to 955.49 points. Paris, London and Frankfurt fell to 0.7 percent.
Credit rating agency S&P Global said the growth of the Chinese economy is expected to decline to 5 percent this year due to the impact of the coronavirus. Last year the world’s second-largest economy grew by 6.1 percent.
Wereldhave saw more than 13 percent of value evaporate in the MidKap. The real estate company allocates between 300 million and 350 million euros for the conversion of its shopping centres and will be disposing of just over 1 billion euros in assets. Flow Traders followed with a loss of 5 percent. The stock market intermediary suffered from a reduced trading activity last year and saw a sharp fall in profits.
The most significant fall in the AEX was the Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield real estate group with a minus of 1.7 percent. Steel company ArcelorMittal continued its advance and was the most vigorous climber with a plus of 0.3 percent.
Most European automakers fell more than 2 percent due to concerns about a delay in the delivery of parts from China. The Finnish Nokia and the Swedish Ericsson rose around 4 percent after reports that the US government may want to take controlling interests in the European makers of network equipment to compete with the Chinese Huawei.
Credit Suisse lost more than 3 percent in Zurich. CEO Tidjane Thiam leaves because of the Swiss bank espionage scandal. In Paris, L’Oréal climbed 1.6 percent. The French cosmetics brand had its best year in 2019 in more than a decade.
The euro was worth $ 1.0947, against 1.0980 a day earlier. A barrel of American oil became 0.1 percent cheaper at $ 50.89. Brent oil cost 0.1 percent less at $ 54.90 per barrel.