LONDON: European stocks were little changed, following last week’s rally for the region’s equity benchmark, as a selloff in banks offset Greek opinion polls that eased concern the country will leave the euro.
Bankia SA sank 13% after the lender said it will seek 19 billion euros (US$24 billion) of state funds and Spanish borrowing costs surged. Mining companies limited losses, led by Rio Tinto Group and Antofagasta Plc, as copper climbed amid dwindling stockpiles in China.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped less than 0.1% to 242.47 at the close in London. Markets in Denmark, Iceland, Luxembourg, Austria, Norway and Switzerland were closed for a public holiday today, while U.S. exchanges were shut for Memorial Day.
“Investor sentiment is very cautious and there is likely to be a lot of volatility with the Greek elections looming over the market," said Keith Bowman, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Plc in London. “A lot of people are sitting on the sidelines where they can and are waiting for a bit more certainty."
European stocks posted their first weekly gain of the month last week as China pledged to bolster growth and a three-week selloff left the Stoxx 600 at its cheapest valuation since January. The gauge has still slumped 11% from this year's high on March 16 amid concern Greece will fail to implement the measures required to stay in the euro. (Bloomberg/tw)