Europe Markets: European stocks worried over U.S.-China relations, but head for November gain

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European stocks struggled on Friday, though the region’s main index headed for a near 3% gain for November, as equities on the Continent have benefited from a series of fresh record highs for Wall Street.

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -0.11% shook off opening losses to trade flat at 409.08, after a 0.1% decline on Thursday. The index still headed for a 1.3% gain for the week, and 3.1% monthly rise.

The German DAX DAX, -0.07%  fell 0.2% to 13223.62, the French CAC 40 index PX1, +0.07%  was flat at 5814.88. The U.K. FTSE 100 UKX, -0.14%  was also flat at 7419.11.

U.S. stock futures indicated modest losses for Wall Street on Friday. Those markets were shut for the Thanksgiving Day holiday, and will see a shortened day of trade on Friday. U.S. stocks closed modestly higher on Wednesday, but at fresh records.

Asian markets also had a weak session markets after China’s threat this week to retaliate after President Donald Trump signed a bill supporting Hong Kong protesters on Wednesday. Beijing’s angry reaction has raised concerns that the two sides may struggle to reach a phase one agreement in time for the next round of U.S. tariffs to hit China on December 15.

While Trump’s decision on the Hong Kong bill is affecting investor sentiment, it remains to be seen whether that will have a “material impact” on trade talks or if Beijing will look past it, said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at

The Stoxx Europe 600 index has gained around 20% so far this year, which would be the best annual gain since 2013, as investors have shown renewed interest in European stocks.

Friday also brought weaker production data out of South Korea and Japan, a signal to some that the U.S.-China trade dispute was having a detrimental effect on the global economy.

In Europe, data showed German consumer prices fell 0.8% in November, which was more than anticipated. “Even though today’s retail sales were a bad start to the final quarter of the year, private consumption should continue supporting German growth in the near term,” said Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING Germany.

But German stocks trimmed losses after jobless claims fell unexpectedly in November, suggesting that the labor market remains strong despite an economic slowdown.

Banks and mining stocks were among the biggest declining sectors in Europe on Friday, with shares of Lloyds Bank LLOY, -0.69%  down over 1%. Stock in miner Anglo American AAL, -0.49%  fell over 1%.

Shares of Ocado Group OCDO, +12.04%  jumped 12% after the U.K. online grocer said it signed a deal with Japanese retailer Aeon 8267, -0.33%  to develop its online grocery business in Japan.

Stock in E.ON EOAN, +1.35%  rose over 1% after the German energy company reported a fall in nine-month adjusted net income, but raised its full-year view following the completion of the acquisition of utility company Innogy.