European shares on the backfoot ahead of eventful week, Ocado shines

The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

January 28, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – European shares opened in negative territory on Monday as optimism from the end of the U.S. government shutdown faded and investors braced for an eventful week with key votes on Brexit, Sino-U.S. trade talks and a Federal Reserve policy decision.

At 0830 GMT the pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.5 percent with most bourses and sector in the red as news of the second consecutive drop in Chinese industrial profits in December dampened the mood.

A number of corporate developments triggered sharp moves such as for the shares of Germany’s MorphoSys which sank 6.6 percent, the worst performer on the STOXX, after a U.S. court ruling on three patents.

Another strong loser was Alstom, which fell 3.3 percent after the French group and Germany’s Siemens offered new concessions to try to satisfy antitrust concerns of the European Commission for their plans to create a joint European rail champion.

Among winners, shares of British online grocer Ocado and Marks & Spencer jumped after a report the companies are in talks about a tie-up to launch of a food delivery service. Ocado topped the FTSE 100 after hitting its highest since Sept. 6.

(Reporting by Julien Ponthus; editing by Josephine Mason)

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