Market focus is largely attuned to the arrest of a top executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei, amid investor concern that the news could derail progress in U.S.-Sino trade talks.
Europe’s basic resources stocks — with their heavy exposure to China — tumbled more than 3.3 percent during mid-morning deals. Britain’s FTSE 100 index slumped to its lowest level in two years Thursday morning, as mining stocks plummeted. London-listed Antofagasta and Glencore led the sectoral losses, down more than 5 percent.
Meanwhile, autos stocks — seen as a trade war proxy because of the sector’s export-heavy constituent’s — were also among the worst performers, down nearly 3 percent. Faurecia, Valeo and Daimler all dropped more than 3 percent.
Tech stocks were also over 3 percent lower Thursday morning, following the arrest of Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver on Wednesday. Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was arrested by Canadian authorities on December 1, reportedly over the possible violation of sanctions against Iran. She now faces extradition to the United States.
Looking at individual stocks, Italy’s DiaSorin tumbled toward the bottom of the European benchmark Thursday morning, after Kepler Cheuvreux cut its stock recommendation to “hold” from “buy.” Shares of the Milan-listed company were down more than 7 percent on the news.