The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline in early trade, with basic resources shedding 1.1% to lead losses while travel and leisure stocks climbed 0.5%.
Monday is the first trading day since Brexit took place. The U.K. exited the EU at 11 p.m. on Friday and has now started an 11-month transition period in which it hopes to strike a trade deal with the bloc.
Negotiations are expected to be turbulent after the U.K.’s foreign minister said over the weekend that the U.K. would “not be aligning with EU rules” in any post-Brexit trade deal. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar warned both sides not to set up rigid “red lines” ahead of talks.
Meanwhile, in Asia, stocks in mainland China plummeted more than 7% by Monday afternoon as they returned to trade following an extended holiday amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The death toll from the virus has now reached 361 people.
The People’s Bank of China announced Sunday that it will inject 1.2 trillion yuan (approx. $173 billion) worth of liquidity into the markets via open market reverse repo operations.
Several euro zone countries release manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data on Monday morning.
Julius Baer shares fell 4.7% in early trade after the Swiss private bank reported a 5% adjusted net profit drop in 2019 and announced plans to improve its cost-income ratio by 2022.
Worldline shares dropped 6.4% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after it announced the acquisition of fellow French transaction technology company Ingenico. Ingenico shares jumped 8.9% to lead the European benchmark.
Ryanair announced a beat on third-quarter revenue expectations on Monday morning and raised its profit guidance, leading the budget carrier’s stock 4.4% higher.