Markets

European stocks close lower after report of delay to US-China tariffs

Key Points
  • The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that U.S. negotiators had asked Chinese officials to commit to some up front agricultural purchases, while Beijing wants those purchases to be proportional to rollbacks of existing U.S. tariffs.
  • Britain's political parties are heading into the home stretch of campaigning ahead of Thursday's landmark general election, which will be pivotal for Brexit and economic policy.

European stocks ended the session lower on Tuesday after a report that the U.S. will delay implementing the additional tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled for December 15.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.3% lower at the closing bell, with telecoms stocks leading losses on a decline of 0.8%.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that U.S. negotiators had asked Chinese officials to commit to some up front agricultural purchases, while Beijing wants those purchases to be proportional to rollbacks of existing U.S. tariffs.

Britain's political parties are heading into the home stretch of campaigning ahead of Thursday's landmark general election, which will be pivotal for Brexit and economic policy. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party remains favorite to win a majority of seats, but the opinion polls have narrowed in recent weeks.

With the election looming, U.K. GDP flatlined month-on-month in October and grew at its slowest annual pace in nearly seven years, rising by just 0.7% compared with October 2018. Having shrunk in the previous two months, the figures represented the first three-month period without any growth in a decade.

The ZEW German economic sentiment indicator surged to 10.7 for December from -2.1 in November following a recent unexpected rise in exports and stabilizing economic data throughout the euro area.

Stateside, the U.S. Federal Reserve on Tuesday kicked off its final two-day monetary policy meeting of the year, with markets widely expecting the central bank to hold rates steady.

Stocks on Wall Street traded slightly higher on Tuesday as investors monitored U.S.-China trade relations.

Stocks on the move

Belgian retailer Colruyt saw its shares climb 4.9% on Tuesday after reporting fiscal 2020 first-half results before the bell, while Tullow Oil rose almost 14% as investors looked to seize on the stock's low valuation following a 70% plunge on Monday.

At the other end of the European blue chip index, Valeo shares slipped 7.4% after the French auto supplier issued its mid-term targets and altered the measure for its profitability targets.

Deutsche Bank shares slipped 0.8% after the German lender scaled back its revenue growth target.

Ashtead Group stock fell 6% after the British industrial equipment rental company missed estimates in its second-quarter 2020 results.