European stocks tumble as investors shun risk, BASF hit by profit warning

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
European stocks tumble as investors shun risk, BASF hit by profit warning
Credit: © Reuters.

LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Simmering tensions between the U.S. and China dented European shares on Monday as investors fled risk at the start of a highly uncertain week with Britain's parliamentary vote on Brexit looming.

The pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX index fell 0.8 percent to hit a two-year low once more by 0830 GMT, with Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE down 0.3 percent. Germany's DAX .GDAXI , the most sensitive to China due to its big exporters, fell 0.9 percent.

Shares in BASF BASFn.DE fell 4.3 percent after the German chemicals firm slashed its forecast for 2018 profits on Friday. said the decline was mainly due to its chemicals segment while low water levels on the Rhine and weak automotive demand especially in China were also to blame.

BASF peer Symrise SY1G.DE also tumbled 3.6 percent, helping drag the pan-European chemicals sector .SX4P down 2.3 percent, the worst-performing.

Autos stocks .SXAP also fell 1.8 percent as trade tensions took their toll.

Chipmakers AMS AMS.S , Siltronic WAFGn.DE , STMicro STM.PA also fell 2.9 to 5.1 percent as investors ditched the tech sector.

Politics drove some of the biggest moves.

French retail, hotel, and transport stocks tumbled anew after a fourth weekend of "yellow vest" protests which are disrupting the economy. energy utilities Centrica CNA.L and SSE SSE.L both fell around 3 percent as investors held their breath ahead of a crucial vote on Brexit on Tuesday.

Housebuilders Berkeley Group BKGH.L , Persimmon PSN.L , Taylor Wimpey TW.L and Barratt Development BDEV.L fell 1.5 to 2.5 percent as nerves built and Peel Hunt cut its ratings.

Outside large-cap moves, shares in Interserve IRV.L plunged 71 percent after the embattled British outsourcer said it was in talks with its debt holders and considering converting debt to equity.

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