European markets closed lower on Thursday afternoon after President Donald Trump said he had canceled a Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed more than 0.5 percent lower after trading flat for much of the session.
Trump said he hadwritten a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un saying that their planned summit next month was canceled. The meeting, which would have marked the first face-to-face encounter between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader, was set for June 12 in the southeastern Asian island city state.
Europe's autos stocks led the losses, down more than 1.8 percent following an announcement from the U.S. that it plans to investigate whether an "abuse of trade tactics" in cars could harm the world's largest economy. The surprise move appeared to exacerbate fears of fresh global charges. Porsche, Daimler and BMW were 3.02, 2.77 and 1.69 percent lower respectively.
Food & Beverages stocks were the top performers Thursday, up 0.83 percent.
Looking at individual stocks, Electrocomponents soared to the top of index as it reported a 32 percent rise in full-year pre-tax profits on Thursday. The London-listed stock also announced it had reached an agreement to acquire outsourcing firm IESA for around £88 million ($117.5 million). Shares of Electrocomponents were over 16 percent higher.
Swiss food company Aryzta slumped to the bottom of the European benchmark amid earnings news. The firm reported a 17 percent drop in third-quarter revenues on Thursday and slashed its earnings outlook for the second time this fiscal year. Its shares were more than 26 percent lower.
Meanwhile, adding to souring investor sentiment, Trump said Wednesday that an ongoing trade dispute between Washington and Beijing would need "a different structure." In response, China's Commerce Ministry said Thursday it had not promised to slash its trade surplus with the U.S. by a specific figure.