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May 10, 2021, 10:38 a.m. EDT

European stocks struggle as investors watch U.S. pipeline outage, while mining stocks climb

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 (STOXX:XX:SXXP) 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 (XEX:DX:DAX) and French CAC 40 (PAR:FR:PX1) indexes dipped 0.2% each and the FTSE 100 index (FTSE:UK:UKX) was flat.

The pound (XTUP:GBPUSD) 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 (XTUP:EURUSD) was flat.

Read: Scotland’s independence vote ‘a matter of when, not if,’ says Nicola Sturgeon

U.S. stocks opened mixed, with the S&P (S&P:SPX) flat, the Dow industrials (DOW:DJIA) up 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ:COMP) dropping 1.4%.

Shares of major oil companies climbed, with those of BP (LON:UK:BP) (NYS:BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYS:RDS.A) (LON:UK:RDSA) 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 (LON:UK:RIO) (NYS:RIO) surged 4% and BHP Group (NYS:BHP) (LON:UK:BHP) climbed 3.8%.

Shares of MAN soared 30%, after Traton (ETR:XE:8TRA) said on Saturday it would pay €70.68 ($85.96) a share to squeeze out minority shareholders of the truck-and-bus manufacturer. Volkswagen (ETR:XE:VOW3) (ETR:XE:VOW) -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

Read: Weak jobs report belies U.S. recovery under way — but are international stock markets a better bet now?

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