London: European stock markets turned narrowly mixed in Monday afternoon trade after Wall Street opened weaker as the United States and China continued to joust over global trade, dealers said.
Europe’s major markets had opened firmer as traders shrugged off Brexit and Italy jitters but sentiment remained cautious.
Paris saw Renault shares tumble after reports its chief Carlos Ghosn had been arrested in Japan over alleged irregularities at Nissan, its long-term partner.
Wall Street meanwhile was down at the open, led by weakness on the high-tech NASDAQ which shed more than 0.6 percent.
Asian markets earlier put in a solid performance.
But “the political landscapes in the UK and Italy are still unsettled, and the US-China trade tensions rumble on,” CMC Markets analyst David Madden said.
Sentiment was relatively calm and cautious at the start of the week after the volatility of the last seven days, with oil stabilising and the US Federal Reserve tempering fears about its plans for interest rate hikes.
– ‘Frosty’ relations –
Asia-Pacific leaders failed on Sunday to bridge gaping divisions over trade at a summit dominated by a war of words between the US and China as they vie for regional influence.
For the first time, APEC leaders were unable to agree on a formal written declaration amid sharp differences between the world’s top two economies over the rules of global trade.
Hopes of agreement were jolted by an open spat between Pence and Xi over China’s economic and regional ambitions, with the US vice president mocking Beijing’s “constricting belt” and “one-way road” initiative.
Xi defended his scheme and hit out at Trump’s “America First” protectionist agenda, saying it was a “short-sighted approach” that was “doomed to failure”.
“US-China relations remain frosty, with the APEC meeting proving once again that the two sides remain far from any agreement on trade,” said IG analyst Joshua Mahony.
Before the weekend, Wall Street had provided a positive lead after Trump said Beijing had made overtures toward resolving their trade war, meaning he might hold off imposing another round of tariffs.
– Renault hits skids –
In Paris, Renault was in the spotlight after long-term partner Nissan said it will ask its board to remove Ghosn as chairman after an inquiry uncovered “significant acts of misconduct” that included reporting less than he was earning in Japan and using company assets for personal purposes.
“The story has rocked investor confidence in the Paris-listed stock,” said Madden.
Renault’s share price plunged 12 percent at one point before recovering some lost ground to trade down more than nine percent at 58.52 euros in Paris.
– Key figures around 1445 GMT –
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.56 percent at 7,053.42 points
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.07 percent at 11,346.32
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.04 percent at 5,023.16
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.23 percent at 3,188.20
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.7 percent at 21,821.16 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.7 percent at 26,372.00 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.9 percent at 2,703.51 (close)
New York – Dow: DOWN 0.18 percent at 25,363.29
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1431 from $1.1415 at 2200 GMT
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2830 from $1.2834
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 112.72 yen from 112.83 yen
Oil – Brent Crude: DOWN 85 cents at $65.89 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.81 cents at $55.87