Europe Markets

Europe ends mixed as oil declines; miners tank

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European stocks finished mixed on Monday, as investors tried to shake off the sharp fall in oil prices and mining stocks.

The pan-European STOXX 600 came off session highs, closing up 0.5 percent provisionally. All sectors posted solid gains, with the exception of basic resources, energy and banks.

Germany's DAX sped ahead on Monday, closing up 1.1 percent, while France's CAC popped 0.5 percent. Poor performance by U.K. miners caused the FTSE 100 to close lower, off 0.2 percent.

Italy's FTSE MIB closed around 0.9 percent down, pushed lower by a declining in the country's bank shares.

Oil prices tumble

European markets

Oil markets were in focus as prices came under sharp pressure in the second half of European trade. At Europe's close, U.S. crude was down 2.5 percent at around $43.50 per barrel, while Brent crude was 3.5 percent lower, trading below $44 per barrel.

Prices were initially higher, buoyed by supply outages in Canada due to wildfires and the news that Saudi Arabia had decided to replace its long-time oil minister Ali al-Naimi with Khalid al-Falih, the chairman of Saudi Aramco.

In energy stock news, French firm Total announced plans to buy battery maker Saft for 36.5 euros per share, valuing the firm at 950 million euros ($1.1 million). Shares of Total closed down 2 percent.

Royal Dutch Shell was forced to evacuate staff from a production facility in the Niger Delta amid fears of attack from militant groups, according to media reports. Shares slipped 2.5 percent.

Miners crumble after China data

Weak trade data from China, which was released on Sunday, pressured Asian and European mining stocks on Monday.

Chinese exports contracted 1.8 percent in April from a year earlier, after March's temporary burst of 11.5 percent growth, customs data showed. The news caused mainland China markets to sink.

The European basic resources stock index slumped on the news.Anglo American led the pack lower, closing 13.8 percent down.

Glencore fell 9 percent and Arcelormittal closed more than 12 percent down.

In the U.S. markets, stocks came under pressure around Europe's close, as oil weighed on sentiment.

Italian banks sink;

Pressure on Italian banks led the sector lower on Monday, with Banco Popolare tanking 8.7 percent, after its shareholders approved a 1 billion euro-capital increase, which is expected to be completed by the end of June.

UniCredit slipped 2.3 percent after the FT newspaper cited a top-10 shareholder saying the lender "needs more capital and it cannot do that with the current management as they have lost the confidence of the market."

And JPMorgan cut its price target for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, causing shares to fall 7.6 percent.

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In earnings news, security firm G4S was Europe's top performer on Monday, finishing up 4.8 percent after reporting a 4.5 percent year-on-year rise in first quarter revenues.

Volkswagen came off session highs to close up 2.1 percent, after activist investor TCI called for the German carmaker to overhaul its "excessive" executive pay scheme to help boost profits.

Meanwhile, EasyJet jumped 3.8 percent after RBC raised its outlook on the stock to "outperform" from "underperform."

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