European stocks traded slightly lower on Monday as weak Chinese export data highlighted the detrimental impact of its prolonged trade war with the U.S.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped 0.1% lower in early trade, with oil and gas stocks falling 0.7% to lead losses while retail stocks added 0.7%, as most sectors entered negative territory.
Chinese exports declined in November for the fourth consecutive month, falling 1.1% year-on-year compared to the 1% expansion anticipated by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Beijing’s trade discussions with Washington have yet to yield a much-touted “phase one” agreement ahead of a key deadline for additional tariffs on Chinese exports to the U.S. on Dec. 15.
Asian stocks edged slightly higher in afternoon trade, led by Japan on the back of strong economic data for the third quarter, while mainland Chinese shares hovered around the flatline.
Global stocks took a strong handover from Wall Street on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average surging over 300 points following an extremely strong U.S. jobs report.
This promises to be a pivotal week with U.K. voters heading to the polls on Thursday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the weekend pledged to reduce immigration in a “transformative” Brexit, in a last appeal to the electorate as his lead in the polls over the main opposition Labour party has narrowed of late.
Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has said France is ready to take threats from U.S. President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on French goods to the World Trade Organization (WTO), amid a row over French taxes on American internet giants.
German import and export data for October, published before the bell, offered a welcome surprise to rise by 1.2% despite global trade tensions.
Stocks on the move
Shares of Tullow Oil plummeted 48.5% after the British oil giant’s CEO Paul McDade resigned with immediate effect and the company scrapped its dividend amid continuing difficulties in its Ghana operation.