Europe stocks little changed as energy drop offsets tech advance
European stocks were little changed as sliding energy and commodity shares offset a rebound in tech companies.
BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc dragged energy stocks lower, losing at least 1.3 percent as oil traded near the lowest level in almost five months. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Anglo American Plc led declines among miners, falling at least 2 percent as iron ore slid for a third day in China after trade and inflation data highlighted weakness in the world's biggest steel producer.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.1 percent to 396.78 at 11:22 a.m. in London, after earlier losing as much as 0.7 percent. The benchmark gauge pared a weekly gain on Friday as media and technology companies fell and U.S. jobs data fueled bets the Federal Reserve will raise rates this year.
"While the fall in commodity prices, especially oil, could help European markets in the medium term, on a first look it's a bad sign for a cyclical upturn," said Christian Zogg, a fund manager who helps oversee about $10 billion at LLB Asset Management in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. "The nearer we get to the first Fed move, the more nervous the market gets, but best guess is it will stay around the same level for the rest of the month. Earnings season is almost over, so there is not much to come from this side." Banks also contributed to the Stoxx 600's retreat, with HSBC Holdings Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc falling 1.7 percent. ASML Holding NV added 1.2 percent, leading a measure of technology shares to the best performance of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600. Among stocks moving on corporate news, AstraZeneca Plc fell 1.3 percent after agreeing to pay Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. as much as $727.5 million for rights to an experimental cancer vaccine. Dixons Carphone Plc slipped 1.1 percent after the U.K.'s data protection watchdog said it is looking into a cyber-attack on the company's mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse.