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European stocks closed lower on Monday as investors monitored escalations in the U.S.-China trade war.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally down nearly 0.3%. The index had posted an almost 1% gain earlier in the session. Banks were the biggest fallers, led by a 5% slide for CYBG, while chemicals stocks were the best performers.
The People's Bank of China set the official midpoint reference for its yuan currency at 7.0211 per dollar on Monday, exceeding the psychological barrier of 7 per dollar for the third consecutive session.
Trade talks are set to resume in Washington in early September after a new 10% tariff on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods comes into effect on September 1. President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that the U.S. is not ready to strike a trade deal with China just yet.
On Wall Street, stocks fell as investor sentiment was knocked by concerns around slowing global economic growth. Goldman Sachs said on Sunday that fears of a recession as a result of the trade war are increasing, and the investment bank no longer expects a trade deal before the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Elsewhere, the Argentinian peso sold off steeply Monday after the country's center-right President Mauricio Macri performed poorly in primary elections.
Macri lost by a far greater margin than expected on Sunday, early official results showed, casting serious doubt over the incumbent's re-election chances in October. The peso slipped more than 30% at one stage to a record low as traders demanded 65 to the U.S. dollar.
Hong Kong was also in focus as tensions between Chinese authorities and protesters escalated. Hong Kong International Airport, one of the world's busiest terminals, was forced to cancel all departures on Monday amid mass disruption due to anti-government protests.
Back in Europe, Trump's national security advisor John Bolton arrived in London Sunday for talks where he is expected to urge Britain to take a tougher stance on Iran and Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei.
Investors will also have an eye on political developments in Italy after Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini's Lega party filed a no-confidence motion to bring down the government on Friday.
In corporate news, Apple supplier AMS said Sunday that it has made an all-cash takeover offer of 38.5 euros ($43.15) per share for German lighting group Osram Licht. AMS stock plunged almost 12% while Osram shares leaped over 10% on the news.
Meanwhile, Tullow Oil shares surged 20% to lead the Stoxx 600 after it announced a major oil discovery in Guyana.