European shares are generally higher, in the mid-afternoon Monday, as investors attempt to fight off concerns over political uncertainty in Italy. Some investors are also shrugging off concerns over US President Trump’s increasingly pro-trade war stance.
Shares in energy-related stocks are making gains, meanwhile, supported by an increase in oil prices as investors gain confidence a deal can be struck between OPEC and US shale producers, to balance output levels and safeguard prices for producers.
By 1405 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.34% higher, while the EUROSTOXX 50 gained 0.09%. The German DAX rose 0.37%, the French CAC was 0.04% lower and the Spanish IBEX was up 0.12%. The Italian MIB, meanwhile, lost 1.32%.
Italian election uncertainty
The results of the Italian general election are inconclusive, with no single party winning a large enough majority to govern the country alone. And, the country’s two Eurosceptic parties – Five Star Movement and The League – could form a legitimate coalition to lead Italy’s Government.
The election results have weighed heavily on Italian banks in the Monday trading session, as both the aforementioned parties say they have won the right to govern Italy.
Shares in Intesa Sanpaolo, one of Italy’s largest banks, sank 2.48% to €2.93. UniCredit shares - another major bank in the country – were down 2.63% at €16.61.
EU auto stocks lose on Trump trade war comments
EU-based car makers are also moving lower, Monday. Comments over the weekend that US President Donald Trump would be willing to tax imports of EU cars have hit investor sentiment.
“If the EU wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on US companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the US. They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there. Big trade imbalance!,” Trump tweeted Saturday.
BMW, who sold 17% of its BMW branded vehicles to the US in 2017, fell 2.18% to €82.14. Daimler shares moved down 1.14% to trade at €66.58. Meanwhile, Fiat shares lost 1.15% to trade at €15.92.