European stocks shifted lower Tuesday, amid rising doubts over whether the world's two largest econrday aomies will be able to resolve their trade differences.
Europe's autos sector, which has been the most sensitive to trade war fears in recent months, led the losses, down almost 2.5 percent Tuesday. France's Faurecia was the worst sectoral performer, with shares down 6.6 percent after Jefferies cut its target price for the stock. One in four automobiles is equipped by parts made by Faurecia.
The technology sector was also a big loser, falling almost 1 percent. Chip-makers are also heavily exposed to China, with AMS and Siltronic both dipping over 3 percent Tuesday morning.
Looking at other individual stocks, Germany's Carl Zeiss Meditec surged towards the top of the European benchmark during mid-morning deals. It comes after HSBC upgraded its stock recommendation to "buy" from "hold." Shares of the company jumped nearly 9 percent on the news.
U.K. Telecoms firm BT rose after a Goldman Sachs upgrade to to Buy from Neutral.
European markets fell under pressure as both the euro and pound moved higher. Those currencies enjoyed attention after a lawyer advised Europe's top court that the U.K. could end Brexit without seeking the permission of others.
The political deal, agreed over a working dinner between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping on Saturday evening, should see both sides hold off on imposing additional charges against each other's goods in the short term.
However, confusion over the exact timing of the tariffs cease-fire soured investor sentiment overnight. One White House official said a 90-day period to resolve lingering Sino-U.S. trade disagreements would start on December 1, Reuters reported, whereas White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters it would start from January 1.
In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, slipped 0.3 percent on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, oil prices took a breather after surging more than 4 percent at the start of the trading week. The gains come ahead of a critical OPEC meeting on Thursday, with energy market participants widely expecting the influential oil cartel and its allies to orchestrate a fresh round of production cuts.