The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down around 0.7 percent during mid-morning deals, with almost all sectors and major bourses in negative territory.
Technology stocks led the losses, down more than 2 percent amid news of a trading update for British tech firm Micro Focus. The company said its CEO had quit amid ongoing problems with its recent purchase of Hewlett Packard Enterprise assets. Micro Focus also slashed its annual revenue forecast for 2018, prompting shares to plummet more than 55 percent.
Basic resources stocks were also trading lower, down 1.6 percent amid heightened fears of a trade war. The topic is likely to be top of the agenda at a two-day G-20 meeting starting in Argentina later on Monday, with any sign of escalating tension between Washington and Beijing likely to make investors in Asia increasingly nervous. Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta were all trading more than 2.5 percent lower.
Looking at individual stocks, French shopping center operator Klepierre said Monday that it had made a proposal to buy U.K. peer Hammerson, Reuters reported. The British firm rejected the offer, sending shares more than 23 percent higher on Monday morning.
Meanwhile, Barclays shares rose more than 4.5 percent after Sherbone acquired the voting rights of 5.16 percent of the British bank’s issued share capital.