European markets close lower; ECB meeting in focus; Banco Popular tumbles 18%

European bourses closed mostly lower on Monday as investors reacted to fresh economic data and awaited an upcoming monetary policy meeting from the European Central Bank (ECB).


The FTSE 100 ended 0.26 percent lower while the CAC 40 slipped 0.66 percent for the session. Markets in Germany were closed due to a public holiday.

Almost all sectors in Europe ended in negative territory on Monday, with travel and leisure stocks leading the losses. British budget airline, easyJet, contracted around 3.2 percent after the weekend's terrorist attack in London. Airline bookings typically retreat after such incidents.

Banco Popular shares slumped over 18 percent on Monday as the embattled Spanish lender hit the bottom of the benchmark. The bank has been struggling since reports emerged that the bank would have to be wound down if it didn't find a buyer.

Shares of the Portuguese energy firm EDP also fell more than 2 percent on Monday after its CEO was named a suspect in a corruption investigation. The company said it would inform the market with further details about the investigation on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., stocks continued under pressure after a weekend attack in Britain and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.


Elsewhere, investors received disappointing news early on Monday morning with car sales in the U.K. dropping 8.5 percent in May after a tax increase came into effect in April.

U.K. PMI services data also came in lower than expected as a national election has derailed investment decisions and higher inflation has hit households, Reuters reported.

London attacks

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said that it's time to step up the fight against Islamist extremism in the wake of the new attack. "It is time to say enough is enough," she told the media after a terrorist attack killed at least seven people in central London on Saturday night.

Sterling stabilized after an initial drop on Monday with the country set for an election in four days' time. The Conservative leader has been losing ground to her Labour opponent in the past few weeks. The dollar index hit its lowest level since the November U.S. election on Monday after a jobs report Friday came in lower-than-expected.

Oil prices dipped during afternoon trade on Monday, erasing gains supported by a political rift in the Middle East, before investor concerns over a global supply overhang returned.

Brent crude traded at around $49.21 a barrel on Monday shortly after the European close, down 1.48 percent, while U.S. crude was around $47.08 a barrel, down 1.22 percent.

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