European stocks fall as investors weigh tariff threat
Europe’s main stock markets have all fallen at the open as investors take into account the threat of $11bn in tariffs from the US.
London’s FTSE 100 is down by 0.2% in early trading, while Germany’s Dax and France’s Cac 40 both fell by 0.3% as markets opened.
Shares in Airbus, the Franco-German planemaker at the centre of the trade dispute, fell by 2.3%, making it the worst performer on the Cac 40 in early trade.
Carlos Ghosn blames a “conspiracy” at Nissan for his arrest
Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan boss, has blamed a “conspiracy” for his arrest and continued detention in Japan.
Ghosn faces multiple charges from Japanese prosecutors, including underreporting his income to authorities. He has also been accused of ethical violations by Renault, the French carmaker whose alliance with Nissan has come under pressure since Ghosn’s arrest.
In a video message recorded before his rearrest on fresh charges in Tokyo last week, Ghosn said he was the object of plotting by Nissan employees who thought that plans for a closer alliance with Renault would threaten the Japanese carmaker’s autonomy. He said:
This is a conspiracy. This is not about specific events, this is not about greed, this is not about dictatorship. This is about a plot, this is about conspiracy, this is about backstabbing.
Ghosn said that he has been unfairly painted as a dictator in an effort to discredit him.
I am innocent of all the charges that have been brought against me. I am also innocent of all the accusations that came around these charges, that are all biased, taken out of context, twisted in a way to paint a personage of greed and a personage of dictatorship.
However, Ghosn said his love for Nissan and Japan is “untainted” since his arrest in November.
I love Japan and I love Nissan. Nobody spends 20 years in a country, nobody works 20 years in the leadership of a company without love and without attachment.
Introduction: Trump proposes tariffs on EU goods worth $11bn
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
Donald Trump’s White House has threatened to impose tariffs on EU goods worth $11.2bn, including French cheese, wine and aircraft, in a move which would significantly escalate trade tensions between the world’s biggest trading blocs.
Trump’s US trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, announced a list of goods which could be hit by tariffs late on Monday night in retaliation for EU subsidies to Airbus, the European aerospace manufacturer.
The 14-page list has some fairly symbolic targets, with “French cheese”, Roquefort cheese, wine, champagne, olive oil and seafood such as oysters.
Airbus and Boeing, the two major civil aerospace operators, have been at the centre of a long-running tit-for-tat battle over subsidies by their respective governments. Lighthizer said:
This case has been in litigation for 14 years, and the time has come for action. The Administration is preparing to respond immediately when the WTO issues its finding on the value of US countermeasures”.
Our ultimate goal is to reach an agreement with the EU to end all WTO-inconsistent subsidies to large civil aircraft. When the EU ends these harmful subsidies, the additional US duties imposed in response can be lifted.
In the City, Debenhams is likely to reject a last-ditch £200m offer from Sports Direct to take over the ailing department store chain.
The offer still comes with the condition that Sports Direct founder and all-round retail impresario Mike Ashley becomes Debenhams’ chief executive. On past form that is unlikely to fly with Debenhams’ board, meaning a pre-pack administration could still be in the offing.
You can read much more detail here:
And later we will hear from the International Monetary Fund on their latest thoughts on their outlook for the world economy.
- 2pm BST: International Monetary Fund world economic outlook press conference
- 3pm BST: US JOLTs job openings