European stocks open mixed as geopolitical risks mount

European stocks opened mixed Monday, after the U.S. and Saudi Arabia stoked fears of conflict with Iran over the weekend.

The pan-European STOXX 600 slipped 0.2% at the opening bell, banks leading the losses with a 0.8% drop, while oil and gas stocks rose 0.4% in the early minutes of trading.

Investors both stateside and across major markets will be monitoring geopolitical risks after U.S. President Donald Trump issued a new threat to Tehran, tweeting that conflict in the Middle East would be the “official end” of Iran, while Saudi Arabia warned it stood ready to respond with “all strength.”

In Asia, stocks were mostly higher Monday afternoon, with only mainland Chinese shares closing lower as trade talks between the U.S. and China stalled amid the Trump administration’s heightened scrutiny of Chinese telecoms companies. Over the weekend, Reuters reported that Google has suspended some business with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

The New York Times also reported Sunday that anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving entities controlled by President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial crime watchdog.

Citing five current and former Deutsche Bank employees, the report said Deutsche executives rejected the advice.

Back in Europe, British Prime Minister Theresa May said she will present a “new, bold offer” to lawmakers with an “improved package of measures” in a final attempt to get her Brexit deal through parliament before leaving office.

Meanwhile, European mainstream political leaders urged voters to reject the far right after a video sting operation brought down the leader of Austria’s Freedom Party days before the European parliamentary election.

In corporate news, RyanAir posted its weakest annual profit in four years and said earnings could fall further next year, as Europe’s largest budget airline battles overcapacity, Brexit and delays in delivery of the Boeing 737 Max.

Source: CNBC