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European markets edge lower amid concern over corporate earnings; Safran shares slip 2%

Sam Meredith
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged down around 0.2 percent shortly after the opening bell, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.
  • Market focus is largely attuned to corporate results, with major U.S. banks set to get the ball rolling later in the week.

European stocks were slightly lower Monday morning, as investors prepared for what is expected to be a tough U.S. earnings season.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged down around 0.2 percent shortly after the opening bell, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

Europe's technology stocks led the losses during early morning deals, with Germany's SAP SAP-DE among the sector's worst performers. Europe's most valuable tech firm reported over the weekend that the head of its cloud business group had quit, marking the latest in a string of top departures at the firm. Shares of SAP slipped around 1.5 percent.

Looking at individual stocks, France's Euronext ENX-FR surged toward the top of the benchmark during morning trade. It comes after Norway's Financial Supervisory Authority concluded Nasdaq and Euronext would both be "fit and proper" owners of Norwegian stock market operator Oslo Bors VPS, Reuters reported. Shares of the Paris-listed stock rose over 1 percent.

Meanwhile, France's Safran SAF-FR tumbled to the bottom of the index after Boeing slashed 737 Max output in the wake of two deadly crashes. The 737 Max 8 had used LEAP-1B engines made by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric and Safran . Shares of the Paris-listed stock slipped over 2 percent.

Brexit uncertainty

Market focus is largely attuned to corporate results, with major U.S. banks set to get the ball rolling later in the week.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo are both poised to report their latest figures on Friday.

Analysts have warned that the upcoming earnings season could be the first quarter of contracting corporate results since 2016.

Back in Europe, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is still searching for a new plan to secure a delay to Brexit from EU leaders at a summit on Wednesday.

U.K. lawmakers have so far failed to approve a withdrawal agreement, with the world's fifth-largest economy set to leave the bloc on April 12.

On the data front, Germany is set to publish trade balance figures and current account data for February during morning deals.



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