European stocks fell on Friday as oil prices dipped after a three-day rally and flash data from Eurostat showed inflation in the euro zone eased more than expected in March, adding pressure on the European Central Bank to continue with its stimulus measures.
The prospects of a hard Brexit, news of a politically-charged cabinet reshuffle in South Africa, lingering worries surrounding elections in France and Germany this year and U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets highlighting that the upcoming meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, “will be a very difficult one”, also kept investors nervous.
Setting out the guidelines for Brexit negotiations, European Council President Donald Tusk said that starting parallel talks on all issues at the same time, as suggested by some in the U.K., would not happen.
The EU is willing to discuss a future trade deal once the U.K. first sorts out the terms of its exit from the European Union.
The final guidelines will be approved by the bloc’s leaders in an extraordinary summit in Brussels on April 29.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.20 percent at 379.70 in late opening deals after rising half a percent in the previous session.
The German DAX was marginally lower and France’s CAC 40 index was declining 0.2 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was moving down 0.4 percent.
South Africa-exposed Old Mutual slumped 6 percent in London after the country’s President Jacob Zuma removed finance minister Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle, raising fears of a split in the ruling African National Congress.
The rand tumbled more than 5 percent overnight on concerns about the country’s fiscal path and its investment-grade credit rating.
Energy major Tullow Oil fell over 1 percent as oil prices dipped after a three-day rally. Miners Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Glencore and Rio Tinto slumped 2-4 percent.
Phoenix Solar shares soared 8 percent in Frankfurt after the company reported a positive EBIT result for 2016 and said…