By Barbara Kollmeyer
European stocks saw a lackluster start to the week as oil-price weakness drove losses for major energy companies, with shares of Deliveroo leading the gains, while Hargreaves Lansdown tumbled.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.36% was flat at 470.04, with modest losses across the German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -0.33% , the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.19% and the FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.33% , the latter of which was down the most with a 0.2% drop.
One of the biggest losing sectors was oil, with U.S. crude /zigman2/quotes/209723049/delayed CL00 -1.73% down around 4%, and Brent close to that, following last week’s selloff that came as some are worried that China could crack down further on efforts to halt the spread of the delta variant of coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
As well, Goldman Sachs downgraded its 2021 China growth forecast , notably for the third quarter, amid concerns over the spread of the delta variant. Shares of TotalEnergies /zigman2/quotes/206172043/delayed FR:TTE -0.25% /zigman2/quotes/201824152/composite TTE -0.73% fell over 1%, along with BP /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP -0.45% /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP -1.32% and Royal Dutch Shell /zigman2/quotes/201538663/delayed NL:RDSA -0.76% /zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite RDS.A +2.27% .
Elsewhere, shares of delivery-service group Deliveroo /zigman2/quotes/225812915/delayed UK:ROO +3.79% was among the top gainers, climbing nearly 6%, after news that Germany’s Delivery Hero /zigman2/quotes/208380525/delayed XE:DHER -3.15% has obtained a 5.1% shareholding in the company. A team of Jefferies analysts led by Giles Thorne, said it’s hard to say at this point what Delivery Hero’s intention is.
“Each company hosts a trading update in the coming days that will shed more light. In the meantime, it’s our view that in this new Fourth Age of the sector, the profile of an operator positioned to do well is one with delivery in its DNA, an aggressive and progressive attitude to leveraging delivery, and a first-mover advantage in grocery, preferably on the dark store model,” said the analysts.
Elsewhere, shares of Hargreaves Lansdown /zigman2/quotes/201025857/delayed UK:HL -1.52% tumbled 10%, at the bottom of the Stoxx 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.36% as the retail-investment platform reported disappointing results that included a drop in pretax profit.
“[Hargreaves Lansdown] offers volume growth but we don’t see this translating into rising EPS (FY24E EPS lower vs FY21E). In the meantime, valuation already looks rich…”said a team of analysts led by Nicholas Herman at Citigroup, in a note to clients.