(RTTNews.com) - The European markets got off to a positive start Monday, but entered negative territory in the afternoon following the weak start on Wall Street. Traders are keeping a close eye on Brexit developments, as well as the trade talks between the U.S. and China.
At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit over the weekend, Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. would not back down until China changes its ways.
The stark warning dampened investor hopes for a thaw in U.S.-Chinese trade relations ahead of the G20 summit later this month in Argentina.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index weakened by 0.73 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks decreased 0.64 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 0.55 percent.
The DAX of Germany dropped 0.85 percent and the CAC of France fell 0.79 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 0.19 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished lower by 1.06 percent.
In Paris, Renault tumbled 8.43 percent on a report that Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is facing arrest for alleged financial trading violations.
In London, BHP Billiton advanced 1.02 percent after it reached an agreement with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to settle the transfer pricing dispute relating to its marketing operations in Singapore.
Engineering services company Babcock International Group added 0.55 percent after it issued a statement regarding exceptional items likely to be included in the company's half year results announcement on November 21.
Telecom Italia jumped 3.99 percent in Milan. The company's board has appointed Luigi Gubitosi as its new CEO and General Manager, by a majority vote.
Novo Nordisk shares advanced 2.23 percent in Copenhagen after JP Morgan upgraded its rating on the stock to "Overweight."
Eurozone's current account surplus decreased in September, figures from the European Central Bank showed on Monday. The current account surplus fell to EUR 17 billion from EUR 24 billion in August. In the same month last year, the surplus was EUR 40 billion.
Eurozone construction output increased in September after declining in the previous month, but the pace of growth nearly halved sequentially in the third quarter, figures from Eurostat showed on Monday. Construction output grew 2 percent from August, when it declined 0.6 percent, revised from 0.5 percent.
UK house prices declined sharply in November at the fastest monthly pace in seven years, figures from the property market data website Rightmove showed on Monday. Average asking prices dropped GBP 5,222 or 1.7 percent month-on-month to GBP 302,023 in November. That was biggest November drop since 2012, Rightmove said.
Reflecting growing affordability concerns, the National Association of Home Builders released a report on Monday showing a sharp drop in U.S. homebuilder confidence in the month of November. The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index plunged to 60 in November after inching up by one point to 68 in October. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 67.
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