October 15, 2018 / 7:48 AM / a month ago

European shares hit 22-month low, risk-off mood prevails

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares failed to rebound and hit a 22-month low on Monday after their worst week since a correction in February as threats such as trade wars, rising U.S. yields, Chinese growth, Brexit and the Italy/EU budget row continued to weigh on markets.

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Staff

For European bourses there was no wind of optimism from Asia where stocks suffered as rising diplomatic tensions between Riyadh and the West over the disappearance of a journalist pushed oil higher.

At 0754 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.6 percent at 356.8 points, levels not seen since December 2016.

Noting that Wall Street had managed to stage a rebound on Friday, ING analysts stressed that risks were still on the upside.

“Just as you shouldn’t breathe too big a sigh of relief after earth tremors end, we remain anxious of a market that seems jittery, even against the backdrop of a very strong U.S. economy”, the bank’s analysts told its clients.

European shares have underperformed their American peers since the beginning of the year and analysts believe companies which fail to meet expectations during the third quarter corporate earnings season will be severely punished.

British ConvaTec was the worst performer on the STOXX 600 down 28 percent, after cutting its forecast and announcing its CEO was stepping down.

A profits warnings from Superdry (SDRY.L) sent the British fashion group down 17 percent.

Swedish medical equipment Getinge (GETIb.ST) fell about 12 percent after announcing a 200.5 million provision related to surgical mesh product liability claim.

Among winners in the early trading session was Chr Hansen (CHRH.CO), up 4.6 percent with better-than expected results.

Britain’s Nex NXGN.L rose 5 percent after U.S. competition authorities gave their green light for CME Group to acquire the company.

Shares in miner Randgold (RRS.L) were also among the top performers, up 3.6 percent, as gold prices hit a near 12-week high with investors looking for safe havens.

Writing by Julien Ponthus; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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