European markets close lower; Renault shares tumble near 9%

  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished provisionally 0.74 percent down on Monday.
  • Renault slumped to the bottom of the index after Nissan said its Chairman, Carlos Ghosn, was under investigation for allegedly violating Japanese financial laws.

European stocks moved lower Monday, amid lingering uncertainty surrounding the U.K.'s future relationship with the European Union and an unfolding scandal in the auto sector.

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The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished provisionally down 0.74 percent with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

U.K. listed stocks were essentially flat, clinging on to value amid a relative lull in Brexit related news. An expected challenge to Theresa May's leadership has failed to materialize.

Looking at individual stocks, Renault slumped to the bottom of the index after Nissan said its Chairman, Carlos Ghosn, was under investigation for allegedly violating Japanese financial laws.

Nissan shares had already ceased trading when the news broke but Renault shares — with Ghosn also being the CEO and chair of the French automaker — hit their lowest level in three years, falling 8.6 percent on Monday.

Europe's basic resources stocks were among the better performers Monday lunchtime, down only 0.2 percent amid conflicting signals over global trade tensions. President Donald Trump said Friday that Washington could be prepared to "make a deal" with China when it comes to trade. However, White House officials have since said market participants should not read too much into speculation.

Bitcoin slumped on Monday. The digital currency hit a low of $4,951.47, bringing its losses to more than 18 percent in the past seven days and more than 62 percent this year, according to data from CoinDesk.

Brexit

Investors continue to err on the side of caution as turmoil surrounding Brexit shows no signs of alleviating. Last week, the British currency saw sharp losses, as a series of resignations called into question the state of the U.K. government and the future of a Brexit deal.

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Theresa May told Sky News that a change in Britain's leadership would only delay the proceedings, after a number of politicians expressed concern over the current state of affairs, including the proposed agreement.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC that it would be "deeply irresponsible" if parliament endorsed May's deal, adding that her party's members of parliament (MPs) would vote against it.

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In the United States, stocks dropped sharply on Monday as some of the largest technology shares pressured the broader market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 300 points, led by a decline in Apple. The S&P 500 dropped 1.15 percent as the technology sector pulled back 2.5 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lagged, falling 2.1 percent as Amazon dropped 3.2 percent.