By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
European stocks were on track for their worst single-day performance in six weeks following concerns over the U.S.-China trade talks.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.49% declined 0.69% to 402.70, its worst day since October 8.
The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -0.62% dropped 0.77% to 13118.83, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.54% weakened 0.47% to 5881.25 and the U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.44% slumped 1.25% to 7232.41.
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday easily approved a bill to support human rights in Hong Kong, prompting China to threaten “strong countermeasures.” In addition, President Trump threatened to raise tariffs with China further if no deal is reached. The editor of China’s Global Times, who is closely followed by markets for his perceived links to China’s government, tweeted that “few Chinese believe that China and the U.S. can reach a deal soon.”
U.S. stock futures /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 -0.92% also weakened.
Of stocks on the move, Kingfisher /zigman2/quotes/200571451/delayed UK:KGF 0.00% shares slumped 6.8% as the operator of home-improvement stores reported a 3.7% decline in comparable store sales in the quarter ending October 31. The retailer blamed continuing disruption from new range implementations, lower promotional activity and ongoing operational challenges in France, as well as softer market conditions in the main markets, for the downturn.
Fevertree Drinks /zigman2/quotes/205978440/delayed UK:FEVR -1.98% shares rallied 9.9% despite a warning from the maker of tonic water, which said revenue for the fiscal year would range between £266 million and £268 million. This was below the FactSet-compiled analyst consensus of £271.6 million. Fevertree said growth accelerated in its main growth markets of the U.S. and Europe.
However, its U.K. performance in so-called off-trade businesses like supermarkets was behind expectations, which the company attributed to a slowdown in consumer spending.
Swedbank /zigman2/quotes/203208387/delayed SE:SWED.A -0.31% shares declined 3.3%. The bank said a Swedish Public Service news program has alleged that the bank violated U.S. sanctions on Russia. The bank said an internal investigation is being led by the law firm Clifford Chance and that it isn’t aware of any violations of Office of Foreign Assets Control rules.