By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch
European stocks closed with a small loss on Monday, as drops by Deutsche Börse AG, Direct Line Insurance Group PLC and PostNL NV weighed on the region’s main benchmark.
Investors appeared to avoid big bets ahead of a key speech Tuesday by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been credited with sparking a global rally but hasn’t yet detailed his plans for boosting the world’s largest economy.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.78% dipped by 0.1% to end at 369.52, adding to last week’s retreat. The index last week rose to its strongest level since December 2015, but then finished the week down by 0.1%.
Investors have been looking ahead to Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, in a note Monday.
“For about three weeks now markets have been awaiting further details on the so-called ‘phenomenal’ tax plan that the president promised us,” Hewson said.
Individual movers: Deutsche Börse and London Stock Exchange PLC’s shares fell by 3.8% and 1.1%, respectively, as their planned megamerger looked less likely after the LSE said late Sunday it wouldn’t sell its majority-owned fixed-income trading platform in Italy to appease antitrust concerns over the deal.
Associated British Foods PLC /zigman2/quotes/204493701/delayed UK:ABF -1.09% fell 0.9%. The company’s shares initially had risen after it projected a rise in sales at his clothing unit, Primark, but the gain evaporated.
Economic news: A February reading on economic sentiment in the eurozone showed businesses grew more optimistic about their prospects in February.
The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD -0.5011% was trading at $1.0628, up from $1.0561 late Friday.
National indexes: The U.K.’s FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.31% rose 0.1% to close at 7,253.00, while France’s CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.82% finished roughly unchanged at 4,845.18.
Germany’s DAX 30 /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -0.97% tacked on 0.2% to end at 11,822.67.