European Shares Broadly Lower on Trump's Statement, DAX Has Lost 1.88%
European shares fell to new two-week lows on Friday after Donald Trump said the United States would impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, prompting worries over a global trade war. Under the new scheme, foreign steel will be taxed by 25%, and aluminum - by 10%. The German DAX stock index fell by 1.88% today to the level of 11.962.50. The DAX has lost 4.6% this week.
German monthly retail sales unexpectedly declined in January, in a sign that private consumption may remain weak in early 2018 after failing to make any contribution to growth in Europe's biggest economy in the fourth quarter. The Federal Statistics Office said that retail sales fell by 0.7% on the month. On the year, retail sales increased by 2.3%, missing the forecast for a 3.5% increase.
Eurozone producer prices grew by 0.4% month-on-month in January, as expected by economists, and showed a 1.5% year-on-year gain, against market expectations of a 1.6% increase. Without the volatile energy prices, producer price inflation was 1.9% year-on-year in January, the same as in December.
The next ECB meeting will take place on March 8. No major changes are awaited, but policymakers could discuss the possibility of removing the Bank’s easing bias towards increasing bond purchases if needed. Having bought more than 2 trillion euros worth of bonds to prop up inflation, the ECB is expected to shut its bond purchase scheme by the end of the year, satisfied that robust economic growth will lift consumer prices, even if slowly.