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Europe Stocks Close Slightly Lower After Strong First Half; Mining Stocks Up 2%

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European stock markets closed slightly lower on Monday, shortly after ending the first half of the year 8.8% higher.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended down 0.2%, with sectors mixed after a choppy session. Mining stocks led with a 2.2% uptick, followed by oil and gas stocks, which rose 1.6%.

Health care stocks were down 2% as AstraZeneca shares fell 8% after preliminary results from a lung cancer treatment trial fell short of analyst expectations.

EUROPEAN MARKETS

TICKER COMPANY PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE 
.FTSEFTSE 1007527.26-4.27-0.06
.GDAXIDAX16081.0400
.FCHICAC 40 Index7386.700
.FTMIBFTSE MIB28446.9216.070.77
.IBEXIBEX 35 Idx9644.800

Euro zone inflation fell more than expected for the month of June, down to 5.5%, but core inflation continued to increase. The rate of price prices remains well above the European Central Bank’s 2% target.

Asia-Pacific markets rose Monday as investors digested a slew of manufacturing activity reports that showed a slump in output from the region.

U.S. stocks were little changed at the start of the second half of what’s also been a stellar year on Wall Street. U.S. markets will close at 1 p.m. ET for the Independence Day holiday. 

Paul Flood, head of mixed asset at Newton Investment Management, discusses the outlook for investing in various asset classes and sectors, saying there is some rotation in which sectors are popular among investors as the second half begins.

S&P 500 opens little changed

The S&P 500 opened near flat as traders kicked off the new trading month, quarter and half of year.

The S&P 500 was down just 0.1%. The Dow shed 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.1%.

— Alex Harring

Saudi Arabia extends 1-million-barrels-per-day voluntary oil cut into August

Saudi Arabia will extend its voluntary 1-million-barrels-per-day oil production cut initially laid out for July into August, the country’s energy ministry said on Monday, according to the state-owned Saudi Press Agency.

This will put Riyadh’s output near 9 million barrels per day next month. Saudi Arabia first introduced the voluntary production limit after the OPEC+ ministerial meeting at the start of June, when it also agreed to stretch a separate 500,000-barrels-per-day voluntary cut announced in April until the end of 2024.

Brent oil futures with September expiry were trading at $76.35 per barrel at 10:49 a.m. London time, up 94 cents per barrel from the Friday settlement price.

Mining stocks make gains as rising metal prices boost sentiment

Mining stocks led gains on the Stoxx 600 index with a 2% increase, buoyed by rising base metal prices and improved China sentiment.

The price of most base metals advanced in early trading, including three-month tin which was up 1.4% to $27,150 per metric ton, according to London Metal Exchange data reported by Reuters.

Three-month copper was up 0.6% to $8,365 per metric ton as investor sentiment improved, but supply and demand concerns still weigh on the market.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

AstraZeneca shares drop after lung cancer trial results

Shares of AstraZeneca were down more than 5% in morning trade after the results of a late-stage medical trial.

The results showed that an experimental precision drug slowed the progression of lung cancer, but analysts said the benefits may not be as pronounced as hoped.

Citi analysts said that the results “may not be the home run in absolute benefit that investors hoped for” but said they still expect the treatment to secure regulatory approval. The bank kept its “buy” rating on the stock.

Source : CNBC

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