European stocks opened lower on Tuesday as investors monitor political uncertainty in Italy, Hong Kong and Argentina.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped 0.3% at the opening bell, banks leading losses with a 0.8% fall as the majority of sectors and major bourses traded in the red.
The full Italian senate is due to meet on Tuesday to set the date for a motion of no confidence in the government, after the far-right League party said last week that its governing coalition with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement had become unworkable.
Asian stocks declined on Tuesday afternoon after Hong Kong protests escalated and shut down the city’s airport, resulting in threats from Chinese propaganda outlets, which released a video showing military vehicles amassing near its border. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slid 1.86% by the afternoon to lead losses in the region.
Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China set the official midpoint reference rate for the yuan at 7.0326 per dollar on Tuesday, stronger than expected but above the psychological barrier of 7 per dollar for the fourth consecutive session.
Another sharp sell-off on Wall Street Monday, driven by a plunge in the U.S. yield curve to levels not seen since before the financial crisis, further reinforced investor concerns about a U.S. recession and slowing global growth more broadly.
A political surprise in Argentina is also on investors’ radar after Argentina’s peso and stock market plummeted on Monday, as a result of center-right President Mauricio Macri’s poor performance in a primary vote.
Back in Europe, on a visit to London Monday U.S. national security adviser John Bolton voiced the White House’s enthusiastic support for Britain leaving the European Union without a deal on October 31, and promised that Washington would work fast on a U.S.-UK free trade agreement.