European stocks declined on Thursday as a slew of negative catalysts sapped investors’ appetite for risk.
Recent optimism around the U.S.-China talks faded after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that China needs to go beyond pledging to buy more U.S. goods to reach to a long-term trade agreement.
A summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended with no agreement after North Korea reportedly wanted all sanctions on it lifted in exchange, something the U.S. was not prepared to do.
A report showed that China’s manufacturing sector shrank in February for the third straight month, rekindling investor worries over growth.
The pan European Stoxx 600 was down 0.4 percent at 371.13 in opening deals after declining 0.3 percent on Wednesday.
The German DAX was declining 0.2 percent, France’s CAC 40 index was moving down 0.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was losing 0.7 percent.
The British pound hit fresh multi-month highs against both the dollar and euro on reports that Brexit could be delayed by up to two years.
Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore fell 1-3 percent after the release of weak China data.
Spain’s Amadeus IT Group SA tumbled 3.5 percent as it reported a 1 percent increase in its adjusted profit for fiscal 2018.
Anheuser Busch Inbev NV jumped 5.4 percent in Amsterdam after posting strong fourth-quarter results and issuing a robust profit outlook for 2019.
Engineering company ABB lost over 2 percent after it announced a revamp of its divisional structure to save costs.
Staffing firm Adecco Group slumped 4.4 percent after it swung to a loss in the fourth quarter due to a goodwill impairment.
French grocery retailer Carrefour Group advanced 2.8 percent. After reporting a net loss in its fiscal 2018, the company has issued upwards revision of several targets of the Carrefour 2022 plan.
Zalando shares soared 19 percent in Frankfurt after the online fashion retailer met its 2018 targets and said it expects solid growth this year.
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