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European markets close lower as tech and banking stocks dragged

  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 moved 0.4 percent lower during trade.
  • The euro was supported to two-month highs following rampant Berlin business confidence data and a falling U.S. dollar.
  • Oil prices were slightly lower, falling away from two-year highs amid expectations of increased U.S. output

European stocks closed lower on Monday, pushed down by the selling of stocks in financial services and tech.

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FTSE
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IBEX 35
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The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.46 percent during the day's trade.

Europe's banking index ended Monday 0.73 percent lower after an unexpected announcement from Switzerland's third-largest bank. Julius Baer Chief Executive Boris Collardi resigned to take a new role at domestic rival Pictet Group. The Swiss private bank slumped towards the bottom of the index on the news, ending the day down around 4 percent.

Technology stocks led the losses on Monday, closing down 0.72 percent. British tech firm Micro Focus slipped towards the bottom of the sector after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to "hold" from "buy". Its shares closed 3.69 percent lower on the news.

Looking at individual stocks, Ocado rose to the top of the Stoxx 600 after Credit Suisse claimed that weakness it the U.K. grocery supplier was overdone. It closed more than 7 percent higher.

Ingenico Group also surged towards to the top of the index after Morgan Stanley upgraded its stock recommendation to "equal-weight" on Monday. Its shares ended over 3.6 percent higher.

Germany coalition talks 

The euro climbed to a two-month high against the dollar Monday before retreating. The single currency was initially supported by fresh record highs for Berlin's business confidence index and an agreement by Germany's Social Democrats to hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel in a bid to form a new coalition government.

In the U.S., stocks hit fresh highs. On a sector basis, retail stocks pushed higher following the Black Friday weekend of sales. The rise in retail stocks helped lift the S&P 500, Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq composite indexes to all-time highs.

E-commerce giant Amazon got a positive nod from investors following Black Friday, as its stock climbed nearly 2 percent.

Meanwhile, oil prices were lower on Monday, falling away from two-year highs amid expectations of increased U.S. output. However, the prospect of an OPEC-led supply cut extension later in the week, appeared to cap losses. The major oil producing group is due to meet on Thursday.

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