European markets turn positive as investors monitor US-China trade developments


European stocks are set to open slightly lower Monday morning, amid reports the U.S. is considering imposing investment curbs on China.

The FTSE 100 is seen 8 points lower at 7,418, the CAC is expected to open down around 10 points at 5,630, while the DAX is poised to start 17 points lower at 12,363, according to IG.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

The moves in pre-market trade come after reports suggested the White House was considering radical new financial pressure tactics on Beijing, such as delisting Chinese stocks in the U.S. and limiting government pension funds’ investments in the Chinese market.

Analysts told CNBC that the restrictions, first reported by Bloomberg on Friday, could be an effort by President Donald Trump‘s administration to gain the upper hand in forthcoming trade talks.

High-level trade officials from the U.S. and China are expected to hold a fresh round of talks early next month.

The world’s two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.

Back in Europe, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday that he would not step down even if he fails to secure a deal to leave the European Union. He also insisted that only his ruling Conservative government can deliver Brexit on October 31.

Sterling traded at $1.2290 on Monday morning, not far from Friday’s low of $1.2270 — its lowest value since early September.

On the data front, the U.K. and Spain are set to report second quarter GDP (gross domestic product) figures on Monday morning. Euro zone employment rate data for August will follow slightly later in the session.

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