By Avantika Chilkoti 

Global stocks edged down Thursday on fresh concerns over U.S.-China relations after President Trump signed a bill supporting Hong Kong protesters.

The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 declined about 0.2%, and the Shanghai Composite Index ended the day down almost 0.5%. While U.S. markets are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, futures linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.2%.

Mr. Trump's support for the bill, which details U.S. policy toward Hong Kong and orders an assessment of political developments there, may raise fresh hurdles in the trade negotiations between the world's two largest economies. Beijing, which has criticized what it calls U.S. interference in China's domestic affairs, shifted focus to whether the president would implement any of the bill's measures, according to officials involved in economic policy-making.

"It is certainly a notable added complication," said Richard McGuire, a rates strategist at Rabobank. "But whether China responds immediately -- and how they respond -- is obviously the key question."

In the U.K., the FTSE 100 equity benchmark declined 0.2% after a closely watched poll suggested that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party is poised to secure a majority in next month's general election. The British pound rose to a six-month high, and is trading at about GBP0.85 to the euro.

Among the biggest gainers in Europe was Virgin Money. The financial-services company advanced about 20% in London after reporting some financial metrics including net interest margin and capital measures that were better than analysts had expected.

Meanwhile, Rémy Cointreau slipped over 3% in Paris after the French beverage company's fresh forecasts for the year disappointed investors.

Write to Avantika Chilkoti at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 28, 2019 10:24 ET (15:24 GMT)

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