European stocks keep fluctuating
On Monday European stocks erased earlier declines, posting their longest streak of intraday fluctuations in more than three years, as investors remained skeptical ahead of a busy political calendar.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.1 percent at 11:45 a.m. in London, erasing an earlier slide of as much as 0.8 percent, amid gains in energy producers and miners as commodities climbed. That marks a 10th day of the gauge alternating between intraday advances and losses, its longest streak since May 2013.
European stocks have been trading in a tight range most of the year and remain below their level from before the U.K. secession referendum. They’ve almost completely erased the rally that followed Donald Trump’s election, which boosted speculation for infrastructure spending. Investors are turning their focus to the region’s political risks ahead, while the recent rise in government-bond yields is making equities less attractive, according to Peter Dixon, an economist at Commerzbank AG in London.
On Monday, as the volume of Stoxx 600 shares changing hands was almost a fifth lower than the 30-day average, health-care companies fell the most. Among stocks moving on corporate news, Mitie Group Plc, which provides office cleaners, tumbled 9.4 percent after saying it sees earnings below a previous forecast. Essentra Plc sank 19 percent after the U.K. maker of plastic caps cut its operating profit forecast.
It was a busy weekend for politics on the continent with German Chancellor Angela Merkel announcing she will seek a fourth term in office and former Prime Minister Francois Fillon knocking former President Nicolas Sarkozy out of the race for the French presidency.
While bashing Britain may do well on the campaign trail, May could have a friend in Poland, whose government is concerned inflammatory rhetoric from the rest of the EU could mean looser cooperation with the U.K. afterwards.