European stocks struggle against backdrop of sluggish global equities

European stocks were under pressure on Monday, following global stocks lower and after losses on Wall Street last week.

How are markets performing?

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.15% eased 0.2% to 147.12, after closing down 0.3% last week. A weekly gain of 3.3% was the best since December 2016, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Leading decliners, the FTSE MIB Italy index I945, -0.44%  fell 0.4% to 19,313.75. Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, +0.14%  was flat at 11,528.61, while France’s CAC 40 PX1, +0.09% was also steady at 5,104.19.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.21%  was unchanged at 7,097.18.

The euro EURUSD, -0.1405%  was buying $1.1377, little changed from late Friday, while the British pound GBPUSD, +0.2699% bought $1.2994 from a level of $1.2966, rising after reports of a Brexit breakthrough deal.

What’s driving the market?

Investors zeroed in on signs of fresh trade tensions. In a speech Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping pushed an image of his country as an open market and willing importer, but hopes for a trade deal with the U.S. were dashed after White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow threw cold water on that idea on Friday.

Meanwhile, fresh data shows signs that tensions could be taking a toll as growth in China’s service sector slipped to a 13-month low in October. Asian stocks finished mostly weaker.

Read: Evidence that U.S.-China trade talks are the biggest catalyst for the stock market

Focus will also fall on U.S. midterms, where polling suggests Republicans could lose the house to the Democrats, but keep power in the Senate. The outcome of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting later in the week will also capture attention.

Read: Trump says he’s focused on Senate as potential loss of House looms

Closer to home, euro-area finance ministers were meeting in Brussels on

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