European stocks traded Monday as market focus in the region centres on a last-ditch effort between the U.K. and EU to reach a post-Brexit trade deal.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was trading 0.5% lower Monday, with the majority of sectors in negative territory apart from Healthcare and Chemicals.
The U.K. and EU are making last efforts to reach a post-Brexit trade deal this week, with Britain’s chief negotiator going to Brussels on Sunday in a bid to salvage talks that had to be paused on Friday, due to outstanding issues that remain to be resolved, including fishing rights and competition rules.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke on the phone on Saturday in an effort to revive talks and instructed their teams to resume negotiations.
In Asia-Pacific, markets lost steam mid-morning on Monday, with Hong Kong shares down more than 2%. That was despite improved sentiment around coronavirus vaccine rollouts and U.S. stimulus hopes, which fuelled a record-setting session Friday on Wall Street.
Those gains came despite the release of disappointing U.S. jobs data. The Labor Department reported that 245,000 were created in November. Economists polled by Dow Jones had forecast that 440,000 were added last month.
U.S. stock futures were little changed on Sunday night following a record-setting session as Wall Street searched for clues on additional fiscal aid. Lawmakers have been in a stalemate over additional fiscal aid for months before last week, raising concern about the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 14 million Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. along with over 282,000 coronavirus-related deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations have also reached record levels in the U.S. The increasing number of coronavirus cases has led some states and cities to reimpose stricter social distancing measures to curb the outbreak.
On the data front, Germany releases industrial production figures for October; there are no major earnings releases.