May 04, 2020: Europe's stock markets sank at the open on Monday on simmering two superpowers tensions, with Frankfurt and Paris falling far more sharply than London after a long holiday weekend.
Asia also suffered steep losses, tracking heavy pre-weekend falls on Wall Street after US President Donald Trump sparked fears of a renewed trade war with China over its role in the coronavirus pandemic.
In initial European trade, Frankfurt's benchmark DAX index fell 2.8 percent to 10,557.23 points and the Paris CAC 40 shed 3.4 percent to 4,416.50, compared with the closing levels on Thursday.
Outside the eurozone, London's FTSE 100 index lost almost 0.6 percent to 5,730.60 points compared with the closing level on Friday.
“Risk sentiment is very fragile as we enter another critical week in terms of economic and corporate data. Tail risks are rising and Donald Trump's attacks on China are really not helping,” Swissquote Bank analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya told AFP.
“Equities in Europe opened sharply lower, as expected. Losses in the FTSE were less than the rest of the European continent, but the investor mood points at further losses throughout the session,” she added.
Trump had suggested he could lump new tariffs on China over its handling of the virus outbreak, claiming he had seen evidence linking a Wuhan lab to the contagion.
The warning fanned worries of a return to the trade standoff between the world's top two economies that battered global markets last year until a partial agreement was reached in December.