European markets move lower amid escalating trade tensions; Dufry shares rise 3%

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was around 0.5 percent lower during mid-morning deals, with almost all sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

Europe’s autos stocks led the losses on Friday, down 1.5 percent amid heightened trade tensions. Porsche and Hella were among the worst sectoral performers, both down over 1 percent.

Basic resources stocks — with their heavy exposure to China — were also trading lower on Friday, down 1.25 percent. Rio Tinto was among the hardest hit after Exane BNP Paribas cut its stock recommendation to “neutral” from “outperform.” Shares of the mining giant were off more than 1 percent on the news.

Looking at individual stocks, Dufry surged to the top of the European benchmark after the firm proposed a dividend and announced it would launch a share buyback plan. Kepler Chevreux then upgraded its target price for the Swiss travel retailer shortly after the opening bell, supporting a move higher. Shares of Dufry were up around 3 percent during mid-morning deals.

Meanwhile, Norwegian conglomerate Orkla slumped towards the bottom of the index after Oslo-based banking giant DNB cut its stock recommendation to “sell” from “hold.” Shares of Orkla were more than 5 percent lower on the news.

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