European stocks open slightly lower; Asian markets were mixed
European stocks opened slightly lower on Tuesday morning as traders monitor progress in U.S.-China trade discussions and a fresh push from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson for an early general election.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.13% lower shortly after markets opened.
Johnson on Monday lost his third bid to force a general election on December 12 after falling short of the two thirds majority needed in Parliament, but will now attempt to introduce a bill requiring a simple majority. He would still need support from some opposition party lawmakers for the bill to pass.
The push for early polls comes after Johnson accepted the EU’s three-month extension to the U.K.’s Brexit deadline, pushing the departure date to January 31.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said on Monday that Washington is examining whether to extend tariff exclusions on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, having revealed last week that the world’s two largest economies are close to signing a “phase one” trade deal.
Asian markets were mixed Tuesday afternoon as investors awaited news on the trade front, with Japan’s Nikkei leading gains while mainland Chinese and Hong Kong shares mostly declined.
Earnings season remains in focus, with German lender Commerzbank publishing a preliminary 35% rise in third-quarter net profit on Monday, while exchange operator Deutsche Boerse confirmed its full-year targets and reported a 10% climb in net profit.