Europe Markets

European markets close lower amid investor backlash over Trump policies; UniCredit down 5%


European markets closed lower on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump's introduction of a travel ban on refugees coming from seven Muslim-majority countries prompted investor concern.

UniCredit down 5.4%

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended more than 1 percent lower with all sectors and bourses in negative territory. Oil and gas stocks were among the worst performers on Monday, down by more than 2 percent. According to Reuters, new data last week showed that U.S. oil output had risen which has created downward pressure on prices.

Basic resources stocks fell over 2.1 percent on Monday after the European Union announced it had decided to impose definitive dumping duties on Chinese steel tube imports, Reuters reported.

Looking at specific stocks, Allianz closed 1.7 percent lower on Monday after media reports that the insurer is considering buying the Australian firm QBE. Insurance stocks dropped 1.48 percent.

Software AG ended near the top of European benchmarks on Monday after HSBC and UBS raised the firm to a "buy" rating. Vodafone shares also closed higher after reports that it is considering merging its Indian arm with Idea Cellular.

Italy's biggest bank in terms of assets, UniCredit announced on Monday it would miss the European Central Bank's requirements for 2016, underlining the importance of a planned 13 billion euro ($14 billion) rights issue. Its shares ended down by more than 5.4 percent.

Italian energy firm ENI dropped over 2.5 percent on Monday. On Friday, Nigerian authorities asked the firm to give up control of an oil field due to an investigation into its acquisition, the Wall Street Journal reported. ENI's partner in the field Royal Dutch Shell saw its share price fall by over 1.9 percent.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq composite and the broader S&P 500 all continued to move lower on Monday. The three indexes were on track to for their worst day since October 11.

Airport protests

Protests have taken place over immigration curbs implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump. The president said the four-month ban on people coming from seven Muslim-majority countries was not about religion but about keeping the country safe. Companies such as Google, Apple and Facebook have criticized the initiative. The dollar edged lower on Monday amid the backlash, as well as weak growth data at the end of last week.

Overnight, five people were killed in Quebec, Canada during a shooting at a mosque. Back in Europe, the French socialist party elected a hard-left candidate – Benoit Hamon - to run in the presidential race.

Oil prices edge lower

Oil prices dipped on Monday after news of yet another increase in U.S. drilling activity was cause for concern among investors hopeful OPEC and other producers would be able to comply with a landmark deal to curb global oversupply.

Brent crude traded at around $55.36 a barrel on Monday shortly after the European close, down 0.29 percent, while U.S. crude was around $52.75 a barrel, down 0.79 percent.

Elsewhere, said that its profit margin suffered a backlash from mortgage reimbursements. Its shares were more than 0.6 percent lower on Monday.

Elsewhere Spain reported solid growth figures in the last quarter of 2016. Preliminary gross domestic product figures showed an increase of 0.7 percent compared to the previous quarter.

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