Europe stocks lit­tle changed as energy drop off­sets tech ad­vance

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

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.

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