European Shares Slide On US-China Trade Worries

European stocks fell on Thursday amid concerns that the Phase 1 trade deal between the U.S. and China may not be reached within this year.

U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he has not made a trade deal with China yet because Beijing is not "stepping up" in negotiations. "I don't think they're stepping up to the level that I want," he said.

A U.S. bill aimed at protecting Hong Kong's freedom also added to tensions between the world's two biggest economies.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was down 0.6 percent at 401 after declining 0.4 percent on Wednesday. The German DAX dropped 0.4 percent, France's CAC 40 index gave up half a percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was down 0.7 percent.

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen climbed 4.7 percent. The German precision mechanical engineering firm said it has sold Hi-Tech Coatings unit to Innovative Chemical Products Group's ISG division.

Industrial and technology group ThyssenKrupp plunged 11 percent. After widening its fiscal 2019 net loss, the company said it is generally cautious about the current fiscal year 2020.

Fiat Chrysler fell 2.4 percent after General Motors sued the company, alleging its rival bribed United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials over many years to corrupt the bargaining process and gain advantages.

Luxury products maker LVMH Group fell over 1 percent on reports it has increased its offer for jeweler Tiffany & Co.

Royal Mail shares slumped as much as 17 percent. The provider of postal and delivery services warned that poor industrial relations were slowing its ability to change and that its turnaround scheme was behind schedule.

Chemicals company Johnson Matthey tumbled nearly 7 percent after its first-half profit fell, hit by one-off costs associated with additional freight costs and problems in its Clean Air division.

Direct Line Insurance Group jumped more than 6 percent after it laid out a plan to cut expenses and bolster digital presence.

Investec, an international specialist bank and asset manager, fell over 2 percent after reporting a drop in profit before tax for the first half.

On a light day on the economic front, the U.K. budget deficit widened more than expected in October, data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks, increased by GBP 2.3 billion from the last year to GBP 11.2 billion in October. The expected level was GBP 9.3 billion.

A measure of French manufacturing confidence index rose marginally to 100 in November, in line with expectations, from 99 in October.

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