European stocks traded slightly lower Thursday as trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are understood to have hit a roadblock.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged 0.29% below the flatline, with autos slipping more than 1% to lead losses as most sectors and major bourses traded in negative territory.
Just one month after agreeing in principle on the so-called phase one of a trade deal, the world's two largest economies have reached a stalemate in negotiations.
The U.S. is seeking stronger concessions from China on intellectual property protections and a cessation of forced technology transfer in exchange for rolling back tariffs on Chinese goods, CNBC's Kayla Tausche reported Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Asian stocks were mixed during Thursday afternoon trade as Chinese industrial production data missed expectations.
Stateside, focus turned to the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, with the first televised hearing linking the U.S. leader directly to efforts to pressurize Ukraine into announcing an investigation into his domestic political rival.
Back in Europe, German GDP (gross domestic product) grew by 0.1% in the third quarter, exceeding the -0.1% contraction expected and narrowly avoiding a technical recession. Second-quarter GDP growth was revised down from -0.1% to -0.2%.
The wider euro zone economy grew by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter, in line with expectations and marking a 1.2% increase year-on-year.
Meanwhile a poll by Savanta ComRes on Wednesday suggested that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's ruling Conservative party established a 10-point lead over the main opposition Labour party ahead of the U.K.'s December 12 election, after the Brexit Party stood down candidates in Conservative seats.
Daimler shares fell more than 3.2% to lead the automotive sector into the red after the German carmaker announced a cost-cutting program which it said will "negatively impact" earnings in 2020 and 2021.
Ticketing provider CTS Eventim slid 7.2% after KPS Stiftung announced the sale of 4.2 million shares in the company.
Earnings remain in focus, as British private equity firm 3i saw its stock tumble 4.3% after reporting its first half results.
German-listed shares of Qiagen jumped 13.7% after Bloomberg reported that Thermo Fisher is considering a bid for the diagnostics firm, while British fashion brand Burberry Group rose 3.8% after reporting strong first-half earnings despite Hong Kong unrest.