European stocks were little changed, after posting their biggest weekly drop since November, as traders assessed the extent to which global growth can withstand political uncertainties in the U.S. and Brazil.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped less than 0.1 percent at the close. Banks fell the most, declining for the fourth time in five days. Telecommunications stocks were the best performers in the index, extending their gains from a December low to 15 percent. The Stoxx 600 added 0.6 percent on Friday, trimming last week’s decline to 1 percent.
- “President Trump enjoyed a relatively scandal-free weekend, and his first overseas trip to Saudi Arabia was deemed a success,” Kathleen Brooks, a research director at brokerage firm City Index in London, wrote in a note. “Traders may see any further sell-off in stocks as an opportunity. The stock market rally may not be over yet.”
- Fund managers will be parsing minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting set to be released this week, as traders are betting an increase in rates next month is a virtual certainty, fed fund futures show.
- Spain’s IBEX 35 Index fell 0.4 percent after the nation’s Socialist Party elected a leader who has been a strident critic of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
- Clariant AG rose 3.5 percent after it agreed to buy Huntsman Corp. in an all-stock transatlantic deal that creates a chemicals company with a combined market value of about $14 billion.
- The “nascent outperformance of domestically focused U.K. stocks has further to run,” Barclays Plc strategists including Dennis Jose wrote in a note. While valuations are pricing in a recessionary drop in consumer spending growth, a collapse of the consumer is unlikely, they wrote.