European stocks open flat as investors await trade and geopolitical developments

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline in early deals, with tech stocks adding 0.3 percent  while basic resources fell by 0.4 percent.

Representatives from Washington and Beijing are expected to sign the first phase of a long-awaited trade accord on Wednesday, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted on Sunday that China’s commitments had not changed during a lengthy translation process. Mnuchin also confirmed that the details will be published this week.

Asian stocks mostly advanced on Monday as investors look ahead to the inking of the deal, with MSCI’s broadest Asia-Pacific index excluding Japan gaining 0.49%.

Tensions in the Middle East have continued as anti-government protests spread across Iran, after the Iranian regime admitted that its armed forces unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane in Tehran, killing 176 people. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted his support for the protesters on Sunday.

Back in Europe, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will travel to Northern Ireland on Monday to meet with leaders of the country’s newly-formed executive and his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar.

A raft of U.K. economic data is due at 9:30 a.m. London time, including manufacturing and construction figures, trade balances and GDP readings for November.

source: CNBC