European stocks retreat
On Monday European stocks retreated and U.S. equity futures pointed to a lower opening as a risk-off tone took hold of global markets. Treasuries, the dollar and European government bonds all climbed, while the pound weakened as British Prime Minister Theresa May found herself under renewed pressure.
Sterling fell against all its main G-10 peers following a report that as many as 40 Conservative lawmakers have agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in May, eight short of the number required to trigger a leadership challenge. The currency’s weakness lent support to the FTSE 100 Index, but even that erased gains as most European gauges slipped and the Stoxx 600 Index dropped. Earlier, equities in Tokyo deepened a decline toward the close of the session amid a red day across Asian equities, though Chinese shares bucked the slide. Bitcoin clawed back most of its losses after a major intraday slump.
Meanwhile, the threat to May’s leadership comes at a sensitive time for the U.K. leader. The opposition Labour Party accused her of lacking the support within her Conservative Party to deliver the Brexit transition period she’s proposed.
Elsewhere, gold and most industrial metals rose, and West Texas oil fluctuated.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dipped 0.8 percent as of 7:19 a.m. New York time, hitting the lowest in almost seven weeks with its fifth consecutive decline. The MSCI AllCountry World Index decreased 0.3 percent to the lowest in two weeks. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index declined 0.1 percent to the lowest in more than six weeks. Germany’s DAX Index dipped 0.8 percent to the lowest in almost three weeks. The MSCI Emerging Market Index dipped 0.4 percent to the lowest in almost two weeks. Futures on the S&P 500 Index fell 0.2 percent to the lowest in almost two weeks.