Markets in Europe looked set to open slightly lower on Monday as weak Chinese export data highlighted the detrimental impact of its prolonged trade war with the U.S.
Britain’s FTSE 100 was seen around 21 points lower at 7,219, Germany’s DAX was expected to edge around a single point lower to 13,165 and France’s CAC 40 was set to slip around 8 points to 5,864, according to IG data.
Chinese exports declined in November for the fourth consecutive month, falling 1.1 percent year-on-year compared to the 1 percent expansion anticipated by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Beijing’s trade discussions with Washington have yet to yield a much-touted phase one agreement ahead of a key deadline for additional tariffs on Chinese exports to the U.S. on December 15.
Asian stocks edged slightly higher in afternoon trade, led by Japan on the back of strong economic data for the third quarter, while mainland Chinese shares hovered around the flatline.
Global stocks took a strong handover from Wall Street on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average surging over 300 points following an extremely strong U.S. jobs report.
This promises to be a pivotal week with U.K. voters heading to the polls on Thursday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the weekend pledged to reduce immigration in a transformative Brexit, in a last appeal to the electorate as his lead in the polls over the main opposition Labour party has narrowed of late.
Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has said France is ready to take threats from U.S. President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on French goods to the World Trade Organization (WTO), amid a row over French taxes on American internet giants.
Investors will also have an eye on German import and export data, due for publication before the European opening bell on Monday.