European shares closed little changed on Monday as investors digested economic data from Germany and eyed a speech from Janet Yellen, the chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 ended 0.12 percent down with sectors mixed. Markets entered the usually quiet week for volumes ahead of the holiday season. Basic resources were among the worst performers on news that Chinese authorities are foreseeing a lower growth rate in 2017.
In individual stocks news, the embattled Monte Dei Paschi slumped more than 11 percent at the close – the first day of its cash call.
The German lender Deutsche Bank was among the worst performers on Monday, falling more than 4.4 percent. The bank has agreed to pay $37 million to end government investigations into dark pool private trading venues, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile in the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average continued higher as investors look forward to the index breaking through the 20,000 mark. Janet Yellen is poised to deliver a speech on the state of the jobs market at 1.30p.m ET.
Elsewhere, shares of Danone were also down after the French company reported a lower-than-expected growth target for 2016.
However, Mediaset shares closed up 1.5 percent following reports that Vivendi had denied it was taking over Italy’s largest private broadcaster.
Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May briefed parliament on Monday and suggested Britain would cover the European Union’s funding when it leaves the bloc if the government believes it represents good value for the nation.
“The Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) set out very clearly some weeks ago what the position on this was – that those funds will continue to be met provided they give value for money and meet the U.K. government’s objectives,” May told parliament.
The U.S. multinational Apple announced a legal challenge against an EU ruling stating that it needs to pay back 13 billion euros ($13.6 billion) in taxes. Ireland, where Apple has its European headquarters, has accused the European Commission of interfering with its sovereign power.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, Christine Lagarde, was found guilty on Monday of negligence for her role in a dispute between the state and a businessman. Lagarde was the French finance at the time of the dispute almost 10 years ago. Lagarde was not handed a sentence and her lawyers said shortly after the decision they would look into appealing the French court ruling.
Also on Monday, investors are awaiting Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s forthcoming speech on the jobs market, due at 1.30 p.m local time, after the European session close.
In terms of data, the German Ifo institute reported Monday that business climate in Germany picked up in the month of December. Its business climate index increased from 110.4 points in November to 111.0 points in December.