European shares retreat as commodity stocks, virus concerns weigh

FILE PHOTO: Bull and bear symbols in front of the German stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

(Reuters) – European stocks slipped from over 10-month highs on Monday as investors booked profits after a strong week, while surging coronavirus cases across the continent and mainland China dragged down energy and mining stocks.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.1% by 0810 GMT, with Germany’s DAX index shedding 0.4% and France’s CAC 40 down 0.2%.

Stock exchange operator Euronext said it had resolved a technical issue that affected trading on futures contracts tied to the CAC 40.

Germany reported an increase in coronavirus cases even as most of Europe was under the strictest restrictions, while China saw its biggest daily increase in infections in more than five months.

Oil majors BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total fell as oil prices retreated on renewed fears around global fuel demand amid rising cases. [O/R]

Mining stocks shed 0.4% as a stronger dollar weighed on commodity prices. [MET/L]

London’s blue-chip index was almost flat, with shares in Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer JD Sports jumping 5% after it forecast fiscal 2021 profit to be “significantly ahead” of current market expectations.

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