(RTTNews.com) - European stocks fell sharply on Thursday, as the arrest of the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co. sparked worries that trade tensions between the U.S and China will not be resolved anytime soon.
China urged Canada to release Meng Wanzhou and said it firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions, which seriously harm the human rights of the victim.
Investors also watched fresh developments on the Brexit front, with the European Court of Justice saying it would deliver a ruling on Monday on whether the U.K. can cancel Brexit unilaterally by reversing Article 50.
MPs are set to vote on whether to pass Prime Minister Theresa May's deal on December 11.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 1.94 percent at 347.38 in opening deals after declining 1.2 percent in the previous session.
The German DAX and the U.K.'sFTSE 100 were down around 2.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 index was losing 2.1 percent.
Chipmakers were losing ground, with Huawei supplier STMicroelectronics falling as much as 5 percent.
Total SA declined 2.6 percent, BP Plc lost 2.4 percent, Royal Dutch Shell dropped 2.3 percent and Tullow Oil fell over 4 percent as oil prices dipped ahead of an OPEC meeting expected to result in a supply cut.
Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore slumped 3-5 percent amid heightened fears of an economic slowdown.
British packaging company DS Smith tumbled 3 percent after it unveiled plans to sell its plastics division.
Capgemini plummeted 6.7 percent in Paris after its board decided to co-opt Laura Desmond as a new director.
Aerospace equipment maker Latecoere plunged 21 percent after cutting its 2019 earnings outlook.
Bayer lost 2.7 percent despite the Germany company setting itself ambitious growth and margin targets through 2022.
In economic releases, Germany's manufacturing orders increased for a third straight month in October, defying expectations for a decline, preliminary data showed.
Factory orders grew 0.3 percent from September, while economists had forecast a 0.4 percent fall. September's 0.3 percent gain was revised to a 0.1 percent increase.
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