European markets lower ahead of G-7 summit

On Wall Street, stocks were lower, with market sentiment offset by trade concerns with investors focused on this weekend’s summit of G-7 world leaders in Quebec.

President Donald Trump‘s tariffs on steel and aluminium imports have caused upset among other G-7 members, including Canada and France.

While Trump may not mind being isolated, “we don’t mind being six, if needs be,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters ahead of the summit, according to Reuters. Trump accused Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau via Twitter of “charging the U.S. massive tariffs and (creating) non-monetary barriers.”

Back in Europe, Thursday marked a tumultuous day for Brexit news. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May revealed a backstop plan for the Irish border, and also said that the U.K. expects to have a permanent solution on customs arrangements after leaving the European Union implemented by the end of 2021 at the latest. But, foreign secretary — and leave campaigner — Boris Johnson was covertly recorded Wednesday saying that there may be a Brexit “meltdown.”

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz sought to calm views among Germans over fellow euro zone member Italy’s precarious economic situation. “I am very certain that Italy will not fail,” Scholz told broadcaster ZDF on Thursday night, as reported by Reuters.

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