Describe the changes that took place in European trade in the 16th century.

The number of retail stores increased sharply, the first covered markets appeared, and retail trade spread. The center of world trade was moved from Italian cities to Antwerp.
Overseas trade was an expensive and risky undertaking, but it brought huge profits, so merchants, and after them other sectors of society, pooled their capital. The first merchant companies were formed. The people who entered such companies were jointly responsible for the debts, shared the risks. The revenues of these companies sometimes reached 500%. Even kings aspired to become members of trading companies.

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