European stocks closed lower Monday, with a decline shares of technology shares and banks overshadowing gains in the oil-and-gas sector.
How are markets performing?
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600
fell 0.2% to 363.50, after closing down 0.3% last week. A weekly gain of 3.3% was the best since December 2016, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Leading decliners, the FTSE MIB Italy index
fell 0.6% to 19,281.03. Germany’s DAX 30
closed down 0.2% at 11,494.96, while France’s CAC 40
ended the session virtually unchanged at 5,101.39.
Meanwhile, the U.K.’s FTSE 100
rose 0.1% at 7,103.84.
was buying $1.1374, little changed from late Friday, while the British pound
bought $1.3010 from a level of $1.2966, rising after reports of a Brexit breakthrough deal.
What’s driving the market?
Investors zeroed in on signs of fresh trade tensions. In a speech Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping pushed an image of his country as an open market and willing importer, but hopes for a trade deal with the U.S. were dashed after White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow threw cold water on that idea on Friday.
Focus will also fall on U.S. midterms, where polling suggests Republicans could lose the house to the Democrats, but keep power in the Senate. The outcome of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting later in the week will also capture attention.
Closer to home, euro-area finance ministers were meeting in Brussels on Monday to discuss Italy, after that country’s budget was rejected by officials two weeks ago.
What stocks are active?
Banks slipped some after the release of a European bank stress test late last week, with Italian banks topping the poor performers list. Barclays PLC
saw modest losses, down 0.5%, and Lloyds Banking Group PLC
fell 1.6% after poor performances on those tests. Banco BPM SpA
another poor performer, fell 2.1%.
Shares of Total SA
rose 2.3% the French oil giant said that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Sempra Energy
to develop North American liquefied-natural-gas, or LNG, export projects. Shares of Sempra were gaining more than 3% in New York.
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