European stocks traded lower Monday afternoon as investors continue to monitor geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and Iran, with Washington preparing major new sanctions.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.2% during the afternoon session, auto stocks leading losses with a 1.2% decline following a Daimler profit warning, while only a handful of sectors traded in positive territory.
The U.S. is threatening to impose “major” new sanctions on Iran on Monday, ramping up the pressure on the Islamic Republic at a time when its economy is straining under the weight of financial restrictions. The threat comes despite a diplomatic push from European leaders to urge restraint from leaders in Washington and Tehran.
Stocks in Asia traded mixed Monday afternoon while oil prices continued to surge due to U.S.-Iran tensions. Mainline Chinese stocks slipped by the afternoon, while indexes in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea edged higher.