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Europe: Stocks slide at open

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European stock markets opened sharply lower Friday on simmering China-US tensions over Beijing's planned national security law for Hong Kong.

[LONDON] European stock markets opened sharply lower Friday on simmering China-US tensions over Beijing's planned national security law for Hong Kong.

US President Donald Trump has called a news conference to outline his response later on Friday.

In initial deals, London's FTSE 100 index fell 0.9 per cent to 6,164.64 points.

In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 index sank 1.1 per cent to 4,719.44 points and in Frankfurt the DAX shed 1.4 per cent to 11,622.41 points.

"Beijing has defied all US threats, and it has made it clear that China is going to have more control over Hong Kong because of a new security law," said Think Markets analyst Naeem Aslam.

"Donald Trump... appears poised to sign measures against China that would spur tensions further."

The White House has already revoked the city's special status, potentially opening the way for it to be stripped of key trading privileges such as lower tariffs than mainland China.

The heightened tensions have largely overshadowed increasing signs that the coronavirus crisis is easing.

AFP

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