Europe stocks mixed amid fragile sentiment; Spain’s Socialists win snap election


Stocks in Europe were mixed during Monday morning trade, amid lingering concerns over the outlook for the global economy.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was flat during early morning deals, with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions.

Europe’s banking index led the gains shortly after the opening bell, up around 0.8%. It comes after S&P Global affirmed Italy’s credit rating at BBB on Friday. The agency is giving more time for Rome’s populist government to implement policies to address the country’s economic woes. Banco BPM, Ubi Banca and Unicredit were all up more than 2% on the news.

Looking at individual stocks, Germany’s Bayer slumped toward the bottom of the European benchmark. On Saturday, the firm’s supervisory board said it stands behind the management after a majority of shareholders refused to ratify management’s actions in 2018. Shares of Bayer slipped over 2%.

Sticking with Germany, chemicals maker Covestro said Monday core profit tumbled 58% over the first three months of 2019, with product prices under pressure as rivals bolster their output. Shares of the company fell 1.5%.

Spain’s socialists win snap election

Market participants eagerly await a meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve and Chinese factory data for further clues on policy direction in the world’s largest economies.

It comes after the U.S. reported stronger-than-anticipated growth over the first three months of the year. Official data showed gross domestic product (GDP) stood at an annualized rate of 3.2% in the first quarter of 2019, beating analyst expectations.

The U.S. central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is due to announce its latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan, rose approximately 0.4% Monday. Japan’s financial markets are closed for a long national holiday this week.

Back in Europe, Spain’s ruling socialists clinched victory in the country’s general election Sunday.

The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) won the most seats over the weekend but fell significantly short of a majority needed to form a government alone.

The election result also saw Spain’s Vox party gain 24 seats, making it the first far-right party to enter parliament since military rule ended in the 1970s.

Source: CNBC