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European Stocks Edge Lower; Bayer Hit by Court Ruling

Stock MarketsMay 17, 2021 09:29
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© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse 

Investing.com - European stock markets edged lower Monday, as investors weighed concerns over a rise in global inflation as well as disappointing Chinese economic data.

At 3:55 AM ET (0855 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.1% lower, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.1%, and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.3%.

European stock markets struggled last week after U.S. consumer prices jumped at the fastest rate since 2008, increasing worries that the Federal Reserve could be forced to start tapering its easy monetary policy earlier than guided.

This weak tone has continued Monday after data showed that China’s economy, the second largest in the world, is continuing to grow but the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is uneven and still has a long way to go.

Chinese industrial production grew 9.8% year-on-year in April, a healthy increase but lower than March’s 14.1%, and retail sales increased 17.7% in April year-on-year, below March’s 34.2% growth.

In corporate news, Ryanair (LON:RYA) stock rose 0.8% after the budget Irish airline said there were signs the recovery had begun even as it reported a record annual after-tax loss due to Covid-19 restrictions forcing it to scrap over 80% of its flights last year. The airline wasn't able to give formal guidance for the current year, due to uncertainty over the pace of reopening in Europe.

Stellantis (PA:STLA) stock rose 0.9% after the automaker said it would announce a strategic partnership with iPhone assembler Foxconn on Tuesday, likely involving the building of electric cars and internet-connected vehicles in China.

On the flip side, Bayer (OTC:BAYRY) stock fell 1.8% after a U.S. federal appeals court upheld a $25 million judgment and trial verdict finding the company's Roundup caused a California resident's non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Italian consumer price data are due later in the session, the highlight of Monday’s thin European economic data slate.

Oil prices edged higher Monday, continuing the recent gains as China and the U.S., the two biggest oil consumers in the world, and most of Western Europe reopen in the wake of successful Covid-19 vaccination programs. 

However, gains are small as worries grow that the highly transmissible coronavirus variant which has hit India so hard is spreading to other countries. Singapore and Taiwan, are seeing new outbreaks, while Japan has further expanded a state of emergency casting fresh doubt over its ability to host the Tokyo Olympics in July. 

U.S. crude futures traded 0.2% higher at $65.50 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.1% to $68.78. The two contracts jumped nearly 2.5% on Friday and managed to book a small gain last week, marking a third consecutive weekly increase.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.9% to $1,853.75/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.2137.

 

 

European Stocks Edge Lower; Bayer Hit by Court Ruling
 

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