European stocks traded lower Friday as trade fears ratcheted up, while Brexit talks between the U.K. Conservative government and main opposition Labour Party broke down.
The day’s biggest loser was British tour operator Thomas Cook, which saw its shares plummet almost 40%, hitting their lowest since July 2012 and on track for the biggest one-day drop since November 2011. Citigroup analysts downgraded the company’s stock to “sell” after its latest profit warning Thursday and cut its target price to zero.
Investors continued to monitored the trade war between the world’s largest economies. Meanwhile, the Trump administration confirmed Friday that it will delay tariffs on European auto imports for up to six months, which EU finance chiefs dubbed a “wise decision.” On Wall Street Friday, stocks were lower during the morning session.
Back in Europe, hopes that the U.K.’s two largest political parties can hash out a Brexit agreement have ended. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told reporters Friday morning that talks had gone as far as they can go and his party will oppose Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit proposal. Sterling fell to its lowest in four months.
In corporate news, Amazon is leading a $575 million funding round for Deliveroo , taking the total the food delivery firm has raised to date up to $1.53 billion. Shares in Deliveroo rival Just Eat were down 8.2% in trade.
British low-cost airline EasyJet reported a pre-tax loss for the first-half of fiscal 2019 of £272 million ($348.6 million), compared with a loss of £68 million in fiscal 2018. The company’s shares climbed 5.3%.
Meanwhile Swiss watch maker Richemont posted a full year net profit of 2.79 billion euros, up from 1.22 billion euros in 2018. The jump in profit was largely attributed to a 1.38 billion gain on the revaluation of existing shares of the Yoox-Net-A-Porter business, which Richemont acquired in 2018. Richemont shares traded 2.8% higher.