Markets

European markets close lower, tracking global sentiment

Share
Key Points
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down 0.46%, with technology stocks shedding 1.3% to lead losses as most sectors and major bourses ended in negative territory.
  • U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said it was "highly unlikely" that the central bank would look to raise rates "anything like this year."
  • The U.K. government is relaxing lockdown measures in England on Monday, with outdoor dining, pubs and non-essential shops allowed to reopen.

LONDON — European markets closed lower on Monday as global stocks took a breather after hitting record highs in several regions last week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down 0.46%, with technology stocks shedding 1.3% to lead losses as most sectors and major bourses ended in negative territory.

European shares received a weak handover from Asia-Pacific, where Indian stocks led losses on the back of a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan declined 0.7%.

Stateside, the major U.S. indexes also fell on Monday, pulling back after the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average notched record highs last week.

VIDEO2:0302:03
Possible the U.S. market's 'already ahead of itself,' says investment firm CEO

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told CBS 60 Minutes in an interview that aired Sunday that the U.S. economy is at an "inflection point," with growth and hiring expected to pick up sharply, but risks remaining that a hasty reopening results on a prolonged spike in cases. Powell said it was "highly unlikely" that the central bank would look to raise rates "anything like this year."

England relaxes Covid restrictions

Back in Europe, the U.K. government is relaxing lockdown measures in England on Monday, with outdoor dining and hospitality venues, hairdressers, gyms, shops and outdoor attractions allowed to reopen.

In corporate news, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported Sunday that Credit Suisse was questioned by Swiss regulator FINMA over its links Greensill Capital "months" before the lender was forced to close out $10 billion of funds tied to the now-insolvent supply chain finance firm.

On the data front, euro zone retail sales in February rose 3% from a month earlier, beating analyst expectations.

Looking at individual stocks, DiaSorin shares jumped 9.6% after the Italian diagnostics company announced a $1.8 billion deal to buy U.S.-based Luminex Corp.

French utility companies Veolia and Suez climbed 9.7% and 7.7%, respectively, after announcing a merger deal.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Siemens Gamesa shares slid 4.6%.

Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.