By Barbara Kollmeyer
European stocks traded mixed on Monday, but with the main index inching toward a fresh record on Monday, led by commodity related stocks. Fears around rising energy prices were in focus after a cyberattack at a major U.S. pipeline.
Following a mixed Asian session, the Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.38% was flat at 445.60, which still sets it on course for a fresh closing high after Friday’s record of 444.93. The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -0.35% and French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.23% indexes dipped 0.2% each and the FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.34% was flat.
The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.2905% pushed above a key level at $1.4095 on Monday, after the Scottish National Party, the main party in Scotland pushing for independence, fell one seat short of securing an overall majority. The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD -0.0172% was flat.
U.S. stocks opened mixed, with the S&P /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.03% flat, the Dow industrials /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.32% up 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.43% dropping 1.4%.
Shares of major oil companies climbed, with those of BP /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP -0.56% /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP -0.27% and Royal Dutch Shell /zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite RDS.A +1.47% /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA -0.61% rose 2% and 1.6%, respectively, and Total also up 1.6%. Oil prices pulled back following a cyberattack on a key fuel line in the U.S. operated by Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, which delivers around 45% of fuel used by the East Coast. Under such an attack, hackers paralyze the computer systems and networks of a company, demanding a ransom to reverse that.
Futures for June crude oil futures and international benchmark Brent crude dipped 0.6% each and natural-gas prices also eased off by 1.5%. That is after earlier gains, as analysts have voiced concerns about possible shortages in the U.S. if the Colonial Pipeline situation isn’t resolved.
Elsewhere, mining stocks rose as iron ore futures surged in Singapore past $226 a ton, boosted by demand from China and a general recovery for the global economy. Iron-ore prices also surged last week . July copper futures were earlier up 2.5% before moving back to trade at $4.7530, hovering near Friday’s closing record high. Copper prices rose 6.3% last week, the biggest weekly jump since the week ended Feb. 19.
Shares of Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO -1.64% /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO -1.82% surged 4% and BHP Group /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP -1.79% /zigman2/quotes/203323256/delayed UK:BHP -1.59% climbed 3.8%.
Shares of MAN soared 30%, after Traton /zigman2/quotes/213032166/delayed XE:8TRA -0.53% said on Saturday it would pay €70.68 ($85.96) a share to squeeze out minority shareholders of the truck-and-bus manufacturer. Volkswagen /zigman2/quotes/203434344/delayed XE:VOW3 -0.95% /zigman2/quotes/206919008/delayed XE:VOW -2.97% -owned Traton, which is a commercial-vehicle producer, said the offer has been sent to MAN’s board and was being reviewed by a court-appointed auditor. MAN shares closed at €55.50 on Friday