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Europe Markets: European stocks struggle as investors watch U.S. pipeline outage, while mining stocks climb

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Panorama of a city business district with office buildings and skyscrapers and superimposed data, charts and diagrams related to stock market, currency exchange and global finance. Blue line graphs with numbers and exchange rates, candlestick charts and financial figures fill the image with a glowing light. Sunset light.

European stocks traded mixed on Monday, but with the main index inching toward a fresh record on Monday, led by commodity related stocks. Fears around rising energy prices were in focus after a cyberattack at a major U.S. pipeline.

Following a mixed Asian session, the Stoxx Europe 600 index
SXXP,
-0.04%

was flat at 445.60, which still sets it on course for a fresh closing high after Friday’s record of 444.93. The German DAX
DAX,
-0.13%

and French CAC 40
PX1,
-0.13%

indexes dipped 0.2% each and the FTSE 100 index
UKX,
-0.16%

was flat.

The pound
GBPUSD,
+1.12%

pushed above a key level at $1.4095 on Monday, after the Scottish National Party, the main party in Scotland pushing for independence, fell one seat short of securing an overall majority. The euro
EURUSD,
-0.02%

was flat.

Read: Scotland’s independence vote ‘a matter of when, not if,’ says Nicola Sturgeon

U.S. stocks opened mixed, with the S&P
SPX,
-0.01%

flat, the Dow industrials
DJIA,
+0.86%

up 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
-1.49%

dropping 1.4%.

Shares of major oil companies climbed, with those of BP
BP,
+0.57%

BP,
+0.45%

and Royal Dutch Shell
RDS.A,
-0.68%

RDSA,
-0.31%

rose 2% and 1.6%, respectively, and Total
TOT,
-0.23%

FP,
+0.63%

also up 1.6%. Oil prices pulled back following a cyberattack on a key fuel line in the U.S. operated by Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, which delivers around 45% of fuel used by the East Coast. Under such an attack, hackers paralyze the computer systems and networks of a company, demanding a ransom to reverse that.

Futures for June crude oil futures
CLM21,
-0.51%

and international benchmark Brent crude
BRNN21,
-0.40%

dipped 0.6% each and natural-gas prices
RBM21,
+0.24%

also eased off by 1.5%. That is after earlier gains, as analysts have voiced concerns about possible shortages in the U.S. if the Colonial Pipeline situation isn’t resolved.

Elsewhere, mining stocks rose as iron ore futures surged in Singapore past $226 a ton, boosted by demand from China and a general recovery for the global economy. Iron-ore prices also surged last week. July copper futures
HGN21,
-0.61%

were earlier up 2.5% before moving back to trade at $4.7530, hovering near Friday’s closing record high. Copper prices rose 6.3% last week, the biggest weekly jump since the week ended Feb. 19.

Shares of Rio Tinto
RIO,
+1.74%

RIO,
+2.37%

surged 4% and BHP Group
BHP,
+2.53%

BHP,
+1.35%

climbed 3.8%.

Shares of MAN
MAN,
+29.01%

soared 30%, after Traton
8TRA,
+5.89%

said on Saturday it would pay €70.68 ($85.96) a share to squeeze out minority shareholders of the truck-and-bus manufacturer. Volkswagen
VOW3,
+0.38%

VOW,
+1.61%

-owned Traton, which is a commercial-vehicle producer, said the offer has been sent to MAN’s board and was being reviewed by a court-appointed auditor. MAN shares closed at €55.50 on Friday

Read: Weak jobs report belies U.S. recovery under way — but are international stock markets a better bet now?

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