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European stocks see-sawed Monday, as fears over the current state of global trade remained in place. Sharp early losses were erased during the afternoon session.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished provisionally up 0.31% by the closing bell. Stocks in the baskets of Chemicals and Basic Resources performed well on average while Banks, Travel & Leisure and Technology struggled.
Earlier Monday, Asia-Pacific markets registered a mixed-to-negative picture, as traders digested fresh data and reacted to Wall Street's volatile session on Friday.
In the latest developments in the China-US trade debacle, China's Defence Minister Wei Fenghe cautioned that the U.S. couldn't interfere in security disputes concerning the South China Sea and Taiwan. Beijing also released an official statement blaming the U.S. for backtracking on trade negotiations.
Investors also remain hesitant after President Donald Trump threatened to slap a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports, sending stocks tumbling Friday.
Elsewhere, oil prices initially posted recoveries on Monday, but both Brent and U.S. crude bounced back into negative territory in the afternoon.
Back in Europe, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived in the U.K. Monday as part of a three-day state visit. The visit has received a mixed response, with protests scheduled, and Trump marked his arrival by tweeting ad hominem insults at London mayor Sadiq Khan. Ahead of his arrival, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn criticized the President for "unacceptable interference" in the U.K.'s political affairs, after Trump's comments appeared to endorse Boris Johnson as the next prime minister.
U.K. manufacturing activity entered into contraction territory in the month of May, IHS Markit data showed Monday, with Brexit still weighing heavily as firms continued to unwind stockpiles. Survey data also showed that some respondents had diverted supply chains away from the U.K.
Elsewhere, the state of European politics remains in focus, after news emerged over the weekend that Andrea Nahles would resign as leader of Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) party.
On the data front, manufacturing PMI figures for the euro area, and individual European countries are due after the opening bell.
In terms of individual stocks, shares of German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies fell 8% after it announced a deal to acquire U.S.-based Cypress Semiconductor Corporation. Cypress shares jumped 25% in the U.S. following the deal.
German digital payments company Wirecard saw its stock climb 3.1% after its CEO Markus Braun tweeted that the company was "steering towards an outstanding first half year of 2019."