Europe stocks end lower as miners sink 3.6%, EDF tanks 11%

26.04.2016 00:01
Alexandra Gibbs | Arjun Kharpal | Holly Ellyatt

European stocks ended trade in the red on Monday, amid weak sentiment across the globe, as a sharp decline in mining stocks weighed on the wider benchmarks.

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The pan-European STOXX 600 closed some 0.5 percent down provisionally, with most sectors closing in negative territory. London’sFTSE 100 slipped some 0.8 percent, while France’s CAC fell 0.5 percent and Germany’s DAX was off 0.8 percent by the close.

One of the main drivers in European markets on Monday was basic resources. The sector closed down some 3.6 percent, as concerns over China’s economy and a fall in several metal prices like copper and lead, weighed on sentiment.

Anglo American slumped over 7 percent at the close, while BHP Billiton,Rio Tinto and Glencore all saw sharp declines of 4 percent or more in their share price.

Oil under pressure

Oil markets were also in focus with prices fluctuating throughout trade on Monday. Prices were lower at Europe’s close, as concerns over a global supply glut and traders cashing in after three weeks of gains impacted the price of oil, Reuters reported.

Brent slipped to trade around $45 at Europe’s close, while U.S. WTI fell some 1 percent, at $43.36. Stocks closed mostly lower, with both Shelland BP closing over 2 percent down.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia’s government announced “Saudi Vision 2030”; a long-term economic blueprint for the region. The plan hopes to implement new regulatory, budget and policy changes to the economy in the next 15 years, so the country can embrace a future that’s less reliant on crude.

In markets overseas, Asia lost ground across the board on Monday, while U.S. markets fell into the red during the session, as traders digested more earnings, ahead of a number of major central bank meetings.

The U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand are all scheduled to meet this week, leaving markets waiting to see if the central banks will announce monetary policy or forward guidance changes.

“The main attention is likely to be fixed on the Bank of Japan meeting on Thursday after last week’s reports that the central bank might extend its negative rate policy further by adopting a policy of a negative rates on loans,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, wrote in a Monday note.

Ahead of the meetings, European banks under-performed on Monday, with Italian banks posting sharp losses, which caused the country’s FTSE MIB index to close sharply lower, off 1.5 percent.

EDF tanks on nuclear plans

In earnings news, Philips reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) of 374 million euros ($420.4 million) for the first quarter. The Dutch firm also said it is likely to sell its lighting business via an initial public offering (IPO). Shares in Philips tumbled, closing over 4 percent.

Imperial Brands jumped near the top of Europe’s benchmarks, up 3 percent after Goldman Sachs raised its outlook on the stock.

French utility EDF said on Monday it will go ahead with the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project in the U.K. after it announced last Friday a 4 billion euro capital-raising to be completed before the end of the year, sending shares to the bottom of benchmarks, closing 11.1 percent down.

Germany’s IFO released

Elsewhere, Germany’s Daimler finished in the red after Barclays, Exane BNP Paribas as Commerzbank cut their price target for the stock.

On the data front, Germany’s Ifo economic research institute on Monday said that its business climate index fell in April from the previous month. Business climate hit 106.6 below market expectations but only a touch lower from the 106.7 recorded in March.

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