Economic news

Europe Shares Fall as Weak Commodity Prices Weigh on Miners, Energy Stocks

  • Roche up on Carmot takeover deal
  • Nokia slides on rumours it may lose AT&T contract in US
  • Greek 10-yr yield hits June lows after Fitch upgrade

Dec 4 (Reuters) - Miners and energy stocks dragged Europe's STOXX 600 lower on Monday, driven by weak commodity prices, after the benchmark index notched strong gains last week on escalating bets of interest rate cuts.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.2% by 0920 GMT, after touching a fresh four-month high in early trade and posting its third straight weekly gain on Friday.

Miners dropped 2.1% as a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on copper prices, while energy stocks shed 2% after oil prices fell amid persistent pressure from the OPEC+ decision and uncertainty over global fuel demand growth.

Investors will keep an eye out for a slew of data this week, including eurozone's PMI, producer prices, retail sales and gross domestic product, to gauge the inflation and economic outlook.

Further, the U.S. November payrolls report this week, will be on the radar following remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday that bolstered expectations that key policy rates have peaked.

A continued easing in inflation across major economies has fuelled speculations that interest rates globally could come down quicker than previously thought, boosting stocks, although multiple central bank officials pushed back against such bets.

Europe's STOXX 600 has risen nearly 10% year-to-date, underperforming the U.S. benchmark S&P 500's near-20% jump, which was also aided by strong enthusiasm around artificial intelligence stocks and better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.

"European stocks will continue to fall behind their U.S. peers because we do have the rate cut expectations, but those in the eurozone don't show a soft landing," said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst, Swissquote Bank.

"Growth in the U.S. is still above average, whereas in Europe, we're talking about contraction or at best a stagnation... So there's a greater chance to see the ECB cut rates first than the Fed."

Among individual stocks, Nokia fell 3.8%, with an analyst pointing to market speculation indicating AT&T may remove the Finnish provider of mobile network technology from its vendor list.

Roche gained 1.8% after agreeing to take over obesity drug developer Carmot Therapeutics for $2.7 billion, steering a 0.2% gain in the healthcare sector.

Rolls-Royce and Proximus jumped 3% and 2.1%, respectively, after J.P. Morgan upgraded the engineering company and the Belgian telecom group's stocks to "Overweight" from "Neutral" each.

Meanwhile, Greece's 10-year government bond yield dropped to its lowest level since June after ratings agency Fitch upgraded its sovereign rating to investment grade.

Reporting by Ankika Biswas and Khushi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sohini Goswami

Source: Reuters

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