By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch
Europe’s main equity benchmark ended slightly higher Monday as fresh U.S.-China trade worries weighed on investors’ appetite for stocks.
What are markets doing?
Germany’s DAX 30 /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -0.12% closed off 0.2% at 12,096.41, while France’s CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.42% closed less than 0.1% lower at 5,348.87. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.20% also fell less than 0.1% to close at 7,302.10. Meanwhile, Italy’s FTSE MIB /zigman2/quotes/210598024/delayed IT:I945 -0.23% jumped 1.1% to 21,111.40, marking the best daily gain in about a week.
The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD +0.0270% traded at $1.1673, up from $1.1622 late Friday in New York. The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.2948% jumped to $1.3128 from $1.3068.
What is driving the market?
Trade tensions threatened a return on Monday, as China looked set to possibly turn down fresh U.S. trade talks if President Donald Trump moves ahead with $200 billion in tariffs against Chinese products.
The pound rose as negotiations between the U.K. and Brussels remained in focus, with the first of three summits to be held on Thursday amid hopes for progress on the Irish-border Brexit question. A stronger pound can weigh on the FTSE 100, as the index’s multinational companies generate most of their sales in other currencies.
Italian economy minister Giovanni Tria is said to be meeting Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte on Monday to lay out efforts to keep the country’s budget deficit under control. A new budget is due later this month.
Shares of Stoxx 600 heavyweight H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB /zigman2/quotes/208522175/delayed SE:HM.B -0.82% surged 16.6% after the company posted forecast-beating sales for the third quarter. A revamp of its logistics infrastructure looks like it’s beginning to pay off.
ArGEN-X SE /zigman2/quotes/209977721/delayed BE:ARGX +1.93% /zigman2/quotes/209927031/composite ARGX +2.56% ended down 0.5%, after jumping nearly 4% after the biotech company announced positive results for a treatment to help patients suffering from autoimmune diseases. Analysts at Stifel had said the news should “de-risk” the company.
German business software group SAP SE /zigman2/quotes/207905606/composite SAP -0.09% /zigman2/quotes/203458330/delayed DE:SAP -0.31% /zigman2/quotes/202053813/delayed XE:SAP -0.55% was a heavyweight loser for the Stoxx 600 and the German DAX 30 index, dropping 1.3%.