European Stocks Open Steady as Automakers Slide, Miners Jump

(Bloomberg) -- European equities opened little changed as automakers fell after car sales in China continued to decline in January and miners advanced on positive trade negotiation reports.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was steady at the open. U.S. markets are shut for the President’s Day holiday today, which signals lower global trading volumes. The FTSE 100 Index was down less than 0.1 percent as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May leads a major diplomatic drive to persuade European Union leaders to save her Brexit agreement. Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc surged 3.4 percent after the company forecast a likely increase in comparable sales growth this year.

Investors continue to carefully watch trade news after last week’s positive reports that the U.S. and China had reached consensus in principle on the main topics of their negotiations ahead of talks that resume in Washington this week. European equities have had a stellar start to the year with a 9.3 percent rally through the end of last week as the dovish Federal Reserve coupled with optimism over tariff talks fueled the appetite of investors. Yet, outflows from the region’s stock funds continue, with last week’s exit marking the second-largest in history.

“European equity markets have little new corporate data to grapple with this morning and with the inevitable lack of U.S.-linked liquidity are primed for a dull day,” said Chris Bailey, a European strategist at Raymond James. “With the American and Canadian markets closed today, it is all about various important and potentially influential ongoing talks and discussions for the global financial markets.”

European Stocks Open Steady as Automakers Slide, Miners Jump

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