May 17, 2019 / 7:56 AM / a month ago

Trade rhetoric weighs on European shares

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May 17 (Reuters) - European shares dropped on Friday after three days of gains, as Beijing ratcheted up its war of words with Washington over trade, weighing on risk appetite.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.7% by 0720 GMT, though it was still looking at its best weekly performance since in 1-1/2 months.

The Communist Party's People's Daily used a front page commentary to say the trade war would never bring China down, after telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd was put on a U.S. blacklist.

The escalating trade war, which threatens to hamper global growth, has knocked as much as 4.6% off the pan-regional index in the last two weeks. Traders point to a drop in volumes as a sign investors aren't convinced by this week's rally.

Among country indexes, Germany's exporter-heavy DAX fell the most. Auto stocks lost 1.6%, with BMW shedding 5.7% as its shares traded ex-dividend.

Delivery food companies tumbled after Britain's Deliveroo, which is unlisted, secured funding from Amazon.com Inc.

Just Eat tanked 7.8%, making it theis biggest faller on the FTSE 100, while Takeaway.com and Delivery Hero lost 4.8% and 3.7% percent respectively.

European share advances on Thursday were supported by better-than-expected U.S. economic data and upbeat earnings from Walmart and Cisco.

Investors will on Friday turn to euro zone CPI data for April, due at 0900 GMT, for further clues to the health of the region's economy after powerhouse Germany returned to growth in the first quarter of 2019.

Swiss luxury goods maker Richemont reported 10% rise in quarterly sales of its watches and jewellery, but traders said its operating profit and margin fell short of expectations, sending its shares down 1.5%.

Britain's EasyJet rose 3.8% after the budget carrier said it would meet expectations in 2019 despite a worse trading environment.

Reporting by Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet

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