By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – European stock markets are seen opening slightly lower Monday, consolidating from record levels with the corporate earnings season to continue and investors awaiting the latest European Central Bank meeting.
At 3:05 AM ET (0705 GMT), the contract in Germany traded 0.3% lower, in France dropped 0.8% and the contract in the U.K. fell 0.3%.
Global stock markets have been riding high of late, helped by strong corporate earnings, the expectation monetary policy will remain accommodative the world over and the continued rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. In Europe, the traded at a record level on Friday, the climbed to its highest level in over 10 years, and the traded at a 52-week peak.
Looking at the corporate sector, the focus will be on Wall Street, with ten Dow components set to report this week, along with 72 companies, including Coca-Cola (NYSE:), IBM (NYSE:) and United Airlines (NASDAQ:) on Monday.
In Europe, CNH Industrial (NYSE:) ended talks with Chinese company FAW Jiefang over the potential sale of its Iveco truck and bus business, and ABN Amro agreed to pay a fine of 480 million euros ($574 million) to settle a criminal investigation into money laundering by prosecutors in the Netherlands. Reports of an attempt to form a new breakaway soccer league in Europe are also likely to affect the share prices of Juventus, Ajax Amsterdam and Borussia Dortmund, among others.
Later in the week, the European Central Bank will hand down its , with the central bank likely to keep the rate unchanged and to strike a cautiously optimistic tone on the economy.
Elsewhere, investors will be keeping an eye on the growing tensions between the West and Russia over the jailing of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, after the U.S. warned of “consequences” if the dissident was to die as he entered the third week of a hunger strike.
The Covid-19 pandemic retains a menacing presence, with the U.K. government saying on Sunday that it’s closely monitoring the spread of variants and cautioned it is too early to say if hospitality venues in England can reopen indoors as planned next month.
Oil prices edged lower Monday, struggling to add to recent gains amid concerns that surging coronavirus infections in the likes of India could have implications for global economic activity.
That said, the wider tone in the crude market has been positive of late, helped by signs of robust recoveries in both the U.S. and China, the two largest consumers of oil in the world. Both the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Energy Agency last week upgraded their forecasts for world oil demand growth this year.
futures traded 0.3% lower at $63.01 a barrel, while the contract fell 0.4% to $66.53. Both contracts rose around 6% last week.
Elsewhere, fell 0.2% to $1,776.60/oz, while traded 0.1% lower at 1.1966.
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