European stocks started the week on a negative note as investors monitored Brexit developments and looked ahead to new U.S.-China trade talks.
The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 index closed provisionally 0.94 percent lower with all major bourses and most sectors pushing lower. Initially, there was some positive momentum on the back of the reopening of the U.S. government, after its longest shutdown in history.
However any momentum was checked after US stocks were dragged down by a profit warning from industrial bellwether, Caterpillar.
In political news. President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday that another government shutdown is “certainly an option,” expressing doubts that Congress would reach a deal to fund the border wall.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will put her latest Brexit efforts to a vote on Tuesday. If she gets the backing from lawmakers she is set to go back to Brussels to get more concessions.
However, the message from the European 27 countries remains that the current exit agreement will not be renegotiated. The impasse continues ahead of the scheduled date for departure – March 29.
Back in the corporate world, Tesco may cut thousands of jobs by replacing staff with vending machines, Reuters reported. Shares were down by around 1.5 percent by the closing bell.
Ocado shares rose 1.78 percent on Monday after a report said Marks & Spencer was in talks about a takeover of the company’s supermarket operations. M&S shares were up by 0.21 percent.
Meanwhile, shares of MorphoSys slipped 7.62 percent after news that some if its patents were deemed invalid by a U.S. court.