European stocks opened lower Thursday as relations between China and the U.S. come under strain over Hong Kong, amid concerns that “phase one” of a trade deal between the two powerhouses may be pushed into 2020.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 0.6% at the start of the session, technology stocks falling 1.3% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses entered the red.
Both chambers of U.S. Congress passed a bill supporting Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters on Wednesday, placing President Donald Trump in a potential quandary as he tries to strike a trade deal with China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing “condemns and firmly opposes” the first bill, according to Reuters.
Reuters also reported Wednesday, citing trade experts and sources close to the Trump administration, that completion of a partial deal could be delayed until 2020 as China pursues more comprehensive tariff rollbacks.
Asian stocks traded lower Thursday afternoon, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index tumbling 1.61% to lead losses.
In corporate news, Thyssenkrupp on Thursday reported a widening full-year net loss for fiscal 2019 and downgraded its 2020 outlook.
On the data front, U.K. public sector financing figures for October are due at 9:30 a.m. London time while November’s euro zone consumer confidence flashes will be published at 3:00 p.m. London time.