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Europe ends slightly under pressure as trade concerns rumble on

Key Points
  • The pan-European STOXX 600 closed 0.05 percent lower, with the majority of sectors trading in negative territory by the close. Investors are conscious of potential new trade tariffs from the U.S. on China.
  • EU Brexit chief Michel Barnier said a Brexit deal could be reached by early November.

Stocks in Europe finished Tuesday's trading session slightly down, as investors monitored global trade developments.

The pan-European STOXX 600 provisionally closed 0.05 percent lower, with the majority of sectors trading in negative territory by the close.

Looking across Europe's major bourses, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 slipped 0.08 percent, the French CAC 40 made gains of 0.27 percent while the German DAX fell 0.13 percent. The majority of peripheral markets closed mixed to lower.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

Basic resources and autos were the biggest fallers Tuesday, amid continued concerns of a trade war between the U.S. and China. Meantime, oil and gas jumped 1.42 percent as a sector, on the back of a sharp rise in crude prices. The sector saw prices rise on the back of U.S. sanctions on Iranian crude exports, and as the U.S. east coast braced for a major hurricane.

Looking across the European benchmark, ArcelorMittal fell 2 percent, after news that the steelmaker had raised its offer to buy Essar Steel. Heineken shares dropped 1.4 percent following some rating downgrades by analysts.

Elsewhere, Amer Sports Corporation soared 18.8 percent after the sports equipment maker had a takeover approach of 4.6 billion euros ($5.33 billion) from ANTA Sports and private equity firm FountainVest Partners; Reuters reported.

Meantime, Ashtead Group rose over 5 percent, after the industrial equipment rental firm said in its latest earnings report that it expected full-year results to be ahead of its expectations, on the back of a weaker pound.

Market players have been digesting news that the White House is preparing a second meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while tracking the last events on global trade. Investors are conscious of potential new trade tariffs from the U.S. on China.

Shares of European Apple suppliers ams AG and STMicroelectronics meantime closed deep in the red after Trump said the tech giant was being hurt by U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports and that the firm should bring production back home.

Brexit and trade concerns simmer

In other trade news, the United States and the EU are working to get a partial trade deal done in the next two months, the Financial Times reported. On Wall Street, stocks posted solid gains around Europe's close as a rebound in the tech sector offset lingering worries around trade.

Markets around the world were under pressure earlier on in the day, after news emerged that China was looking for permission from the World Trade Organization (WTO) to inflict sanctions on the U.S., a WTO's meeting agenda indicated.

In Europe, investors are monitoring remarks from the EU's Brexit chief Michel Barnier. He told an audience on Monday that a Brexit deal could be reached in the next six to eight weeks. However, for that to happen the U.K. will have to compromise further regarding the terms of its future relationship with the European Union.

A European summit dedicated to the Brexit process could be announced next week for some time in November, the Guardian newspaper reported.

In data, the ZEW Economic index showed that economic expectations in Germany rose slightly in the previous month despite some concerns over Turkey and Argentina.