By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
European stocks finished lower Tuesday, beginning the second quarter of 2018 dogged by the same technology-sector and trade-war worries that hurt equity markets during the first quarter.
The moves tracked a Monday selloff in U.S. stocks, when European markets were closed for the Easter break. But Wall Street’s major indexes were showing signs of recovery Tuesday after the rough start to the month’s trading.
How markets moved
European equity markets restarted trading after closures for the Good Friday and Easter Monday holidays.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.87% fell Tuesday by 0.5% to end at 367.07, led by losses for the industrial sector. The oil and gas sector latched on to a modest gain. On Thursday, pan-European index rose 0.4%, but finished first-quarter trade down by 4.7%. That was worst such performance since the first quarter of 2016, according to FactSet data.
Spain’s IBEX 35 /zigman2/quotes/210597995/delayed XX:IBEX +1.34% gave up 0.4% to close at 9,559.40, and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.51% fell 0.4% to end at 7,030.46.
The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD +0.1006% traded at $1.2274, down from $1.2303 late Monday in New York.
What drove markets
European tech stocks were among the worst performers Tuesday, driving the Stoxx Europe 600 Technology Index /zigman2/quotes/210599534/delayed XX:SX8P +1.73% down by 0.8%, as traders returned from their holiday break to a selloff in U.S. stocks Monday. That was led by a fall for the tech sector, which has been under considerable pressure in recent weeks.
U.S. stocks showed signs of recovery during Tuesday’s session after the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.69% was pushed into negative territory for the year on Monday. Amazon Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -1.56% was in focus after U.S. President Donald Trump took aim at the online retail giant.
Concerns about a trade war were still lingering as well, after China said it would slap tariffs on about 130 U.S. goods. China had warned it may issue levies in retaliation against the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese imports. Trade-war worries contributed to losses for equity markets world-wide last month. The Stoxx Europe 600 closed March trade down by 2.3%.