Europe open: Shares flat as oil prices surge, Asos slumps
European stocks were flat at the opening of the week as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the third quarter earnings season and a surge in commodity prices boosted miners.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.03% in early trading with regional bourses mixed. Miners and energy firms were the main gainers as metals and oil prices rose, with Anglo American, Antofagasta, Glencore, BHP, Rio Tinto, BP and Shell all higher.
“Energy markets remain in sharp focus with all-time highs for Chinese coal echoing loudly this morning. Natural gas is steady around $5.70, though European prices remain volatile. Oil is higher again with WTI north of $81. Declining inventories, supply kept in check, demand recovering post the big summer Delta wave fear equal bullish for oil,” said Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson.
“US and inflation on deck this week will be the focus, but so too earnings season as it gets underway on Wall Street. The question facing investors is whether earnings calls are positive – supply chain woes, labour shortages, etc, and are we at peak inflation/stagflation/supply chain fear?”
In other equity news, UK online fashion retailer ASOS plunged 15% after it said chief executive Nick Beighton was stepping down and warned of a 40% drop in profits for 2022.
Swiss drugs company Idorsia fell 5.48% as a phase three study of its treatment for Fabry disease, which affects the nervous and cardiovascular system, failed to meet a primary endpoint.
German real estate investor Adler Group slipped 1.3% after it agreed to sell residential and commercial property worth €1.49bn to rival LEG Immobilien.
MorphoSys shares soared by 7.5% as its licensing partner Roche received breakthrough therapy designation by the US Food and Drug Administration for gantenerumab, a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.