European stocks were subdued on Monday as caution set in after recent record gains on optimism about the reopening of economies and expectations of extended easy monetary policies.
The pan European Stoxx 600 was marginally lower at 444.86 after climbing 0.9 percent on Friday.
The German DAX and France’s CAC 40 index slipped around 0.2 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was marginally higher as investors awaited details on the next phase of lockdown easing in England.
Banks rose broadly, with Commerzbank, Barclays, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale climbing around 2 percent.
Capgemini shares edged down slightly in Paris after the IT major said it has agreed to buy Multibook’s SAP global services line.
BioNTech shares surged 9 percent after the German biotech company revealed plans to build a new manufacturing site for its vaccines based on mRNA technology in Singapore.
Wacker Neuson rallied 2.2 percent. The light and compact equipment manufacturer made a successful start to 2021, with Q1 group revenue rising 5.6 percent relative to the previous year.
Copper producer Aurubis edged up slightly after delivering strong quarterly earnings.
Provident Financial slumped nearly 6 percent in London. The consumer finance company announced it is withdrawing from doorstep lending after 140 years.
Victrex jumped 8 percent. After posting a fall in first-half profit, the supplier of high performance polymer solutions said it remains comfortable with current full year expectations.
Bakery chain Greggs soared 11 percent after saying it believes it could get back to normal profits this year.
Travel-related stocks were declining after only 12 countries have made the initial “green list” where people can holiday abroad without having to quarantine on return to the U.K.
British Airways-owner IAG dropped 1.7 percent, easyJet tumbled 2.6 percent and Wizz Air Holdings lost 3.3 percent.
In economic releases, Eurozone investor confidence improved to the highest level in more than three years in May, survey results from Sentix showed.
The investor confidence index rose notably to 21.0 in May from 13.1 in April, suggesting that the recession caused by the coronavirus has been overcome. The score was the highest since March 2018.
U.K. house prices reached a record high in April as stamp duty holiday continued to provide impetus to the property market, data from Lloyds Bank subsidiary Halifax and IHS Markit showed on Monday.
House prices grew 1.4 percent month-on-month in April, following a 1.1 percent rise in March. The average property was valued at GBP 258,204.
On a yearly basis, house prices growth accelerated to 8.2 percent from 6.5 percent a month ago. This was the highest annual rate in five years.
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