European stocks were slightly lower in early trading on Thursday, as fears of a global recession and the impact of a disorderly Brexit kept investors away from risky assets.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to suspend Britain's parliament for more than a month before Brexit, a move that will limit the time opponents have to derail a disorderly Brexit and increases the chance that Johnson could face a vote of no-confidence in his government.
However, the fall in the pound helped Britain's FTSE 100 rise 0.14% and outperform the pan-European STOXX 600 index, which was flat by 0710 GMT.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration on Wednesday officially stamped its extra 5% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese imports and set collection dates of Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, the latest move in a trade war between the two countries that has entered its second year.
British IT group Micro Focus slumped 24% after it warned on profit, citing lower spending by clients.