European shares open sharply lower on Wednesday morning after US authorities unveiled a new list of Chinese products that could see new tariffs.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was off by 0.8 percent with all sectors in the red.
Asian shares traded mostly lower, with Chinese stocks under pressure in particular. The US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that there could be a new 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods. Officials in China have said the tariffs harm the World Trade Organization (WTO) system and globalization.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has won the endorsement of Chancellor Angela Merkel and two senior ministers for her Brexit plan, after two key resignations earlier in the week, Reuters reported. A new round of Brexit negotiations are due next week.
In the corporate world, Sainsbury’s is set to announce Martin Scicluna as its new chairman, according to Sky News. Repsol, Barratt Developments, Burberry and JD Wetherspoon are among the companies reporting their latest results.
NATO members are gathering for a summit in Brussels, where defence spending is likely to be debated. And the European Central Bank is having a non-monetary policy meeting.