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European stocks close lower as tech slides on Huawei fallout

Key Points
  • Technology stocks led the losses in Europe amid the fallout from heightened American scrutiny of China's Huawei.
  • Travel and leisure stocks also slip on the back of disappointing full-year results from Ryanair.

European markets closed lower Monday as a U.S. crackdown on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei weighed on the technology sector.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally down around 1.2%, with technology stocks leading the losses with an almost 3% drop on the fallout from heightened American scrutiny of Huawei.

President Donald Trump's administration last week added Huawei to a trade blacklist that blocks it from buying U.S. technology without special approval. Meanwhile, a host of U.S. tech giants from Google to Intel are reported to have distanced themselves from the firm.

Reports also emerged of Germany's Infineon suspending shipments to Huawei, news that resulted in a selloff in major European chipmakers. AMS was the biggest loser among semiconductor stocks in Europe, as well as the worst performer in the Stoxx 600, dropping over 13%.

Jitters around Huawei also spread into U.S. markets Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 90 points and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index down more than 1%.

The move to clamp down on Huawei comes amid a tense trade battle between Washington and Beijing. CNBC reported on Friday that U.S.-Sino trade negotiations had stalled as the U.S. government heightens scrutiny on Chinese telecom companies.

Airlines fall on Ryanair results

Returning to Europe, travel and leisure stocks slipped 1.5% on the back of disappointing full-year results from Ryanair. Europe's largest budget airline posted its weakest annual profit in four years and said earnings could fall further next year, as it battles overcapacity, Brexit and delays in delivery of the Boeing 737 Max.

Ryanair stock fell almost 5%, while fellow airlines Air France-KLM and Easyjet both traded around 3% lower.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria told CNBC Monday that the trade war between the world's largest economies was impacting growth and investment and had made the OECD shave almost 1% of its own global growth predictions in the last 12 months.

A year ago, it predicted 3.9% growth in 2019 — now it is forecasting 3.1%. It is due to release its latest economic outlook Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Deutsche Bank shares fell following a New York Times report that anti-money laundering specialists at the German lender recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving entities controlled by President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial crime watchdog.

Citing five current and former Deutsche Bank employees, the report said Deutsche executives rejected the advice. Despite the bank denying the report, its stock traded more than 3% lower, hitting a record low after UBS downgraded it to "sell."