LONDON — European stocks closed lower Monday as market focus in the region centered on a last-ditch effort between the U.K. and EU to reach a post-Brexit trade deal.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.3% lower, with the majority of sectors finishing in negative territory.
U.K. banks and homebuilder stocks were under pressure on the index and sterling was down nearly 1% against the dollar. London's FTSE was up 0.1%, however.
The U.K. and EU are making last efforts to reach a post-Brexit trade deal this week, with Britain's chief negotiator going to Brussels on Sunday in a bid to salvage talks that had to be paused on Friday, due to outstanding issues that remain to be resolved, including fishing rights and competition rules.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke on the phone on Saturday in an effort to revive talks and instructed their teams to resume negotiations. Another conversation is due on Monday afternoon.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 fell on Monday following a record-setting session as traders worried about rising coronavirus cases.
More than 14 million Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. along with over 282,000 coronavirus-related deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations have also reached record levels in the U.S. The increasing number of coronavirus cases has led some states and cities to reimpose stricter social distancing measures to curb the outbreak.
- CNBC's Fred Imbert and Eustance Huang contributed to this market report.