European stocks tracked a slide in Asian shares on Thursday as trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies showed little sign of easing.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was dragged lower by automakers after an EU official said the US was unlikely to start trade talks with the bloc soon while it’s preoccupied with China. Casino Guichard-Perrachon was suspended from trading in Paris, fueling talk of a debt restructuring.
S&P 500 futures pointed to a big drop at the New York open after the Communist Party’s flagship newspaper published two commentaries assailing American moves to curb Chinese companies.
On the currency front, the Pound weakened against the euro for a record 14th day as the prospect of Prime Minister Theresa May being forced from power brought yet more uncertainty over the U.K.’s Brexit strategy. The common currency dipped against the dollar as measures of German business confidence and euro-area output missed expectations, and as voting got underway in European elections.
Risky assets remain under pressure and haven in demand as investors dig in for what looks like a protracted dispute between China and the U.S. over trade. One expert predicts tensions could endure until 2035, while economists are also turning more pessimistic. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now sees higher odds of a stalemate between the two nations, and Nomura Holdings Inc. has shifted to forecasting a full-blown escalation of tariffs.