© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, October 8, 2021. REUTERS/Staff
By Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) -European stocks kicked off the week slightly lower on Monday as nerves around inflation and the upcoming earnings season offset surging commodity prices that supported oil and mining shares.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.4% in morning trading, with travel & leisure and real estate stocks the biggest decliners.
“There is still real concern about stagflation, with indications that prices are going to not be as transitory as central bankers first thought,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HRGV).
“It’s acting as a drag on the economic recovery.”
Brent crude jumped almost 2% as an energy crisis gripping major economies showed no sign of easing, while Dalian coking coal scaled a contract high after a recent flooding in China’s top coal-producing Shanxi province intensified supply fears. [O/R] [IRONORE/]
Miners jumped 2.2% to lead gains among sectors, while oil & gas stocks added 0.8%.
While a heavy presence of commodity-related companies in European bourses helped limit losses, investors generally were anxious about rising raw material prices hurting corporate profits heading into the earnings season.
U.S. banks will kick off the reporting season on Wednesday, with investors anticipating a moderation in profit growth in third quarter compared with a surge in the previous quarter. Third-quarter profit growth is estimated to be up 29.6% for U.S. companies and 45.6% for European firms, according to Refinitiv IBES data, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
The banking index touched its highest since February 2020, recovering almost all of its pandemic-induced losses as investors jacked up interest rate expectations. Money markets are fully pricing in a 10 basis-point rate hike from the European Central Bank by the end of next year.
British banks HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY), Barclays (LON:BARC) and Natwest Group all rose about 1% after hawkish comments from Bank of England officials drove traders to ramp up bets of a November interest rate increase.
Among stocks, British online fashion retailer ASOS (LON:ASOS) tumbled 9.8% after it warned that higher logistics costs and supply chain disruption could force 2022 profits to drop by more than 40% and said Chief Executive Nick Beighton will step down.
German real estate investor Adler Group slipped 0.6% after it agreed to sell residential and commercial property worth 1.49 billion euros ($1.73 billion) to rival LEG Immobilien.