European benchmarks sank deeply into the red on Monday as commodity prices weighed on the mining and resources sector while the market's collective appetite for risk all but evaporated.
Driving stocks lower were reports of mounting inventories of base metals in China and news that the world's largest copper mine, Escondida, has reopened following nearly eight weeks of industrial action by workers. Escondida produces around 5% of the world's copper output. It's closure was a key factor helping to push the metal back above the $6,000 per tonne threshold in February and to its highest level in more than 18 months.
A wind of caution also caught in the backs of investors following the failure of President Donald Trump's health care bill last week. The bill's failure has continued to prompt questions over whether the recently inaugurated leader will be able to muster the support needed for him to see signature policies such as the border wall, a border adjustment tax and far reaching tax reform put into effect.
The FTSE 100 fell 0.60% in London to close at 7,293 while its mid-market sibling slipped 0.42% to close at 18,900. The DAX in Frankfurt slid by 0.58%, before settling at 11,995, while the CAC 40 dropped 0.07% in Paris to close at 5,017. In southern Europe, both the FTSE MIB in Milan and the IBEX in Madrid fell for the session, closing between 0.1% and 0.4% lower.In individual stocks, BT Group ( BT) extended losses in London on Monday after British regulator Ofcom slapped another fine on the communications provider for the shoddy treatment of business broadband customers dealing with its Openreach division, the national monopoly in broadband infrastructure.
Babcock (BCKIF) shares fell to the bottom of the FTSE 100 Monday after officials axed a cleanup contract with the engineering firm and its U.S. partner, Fluor Corp. (FLR - Get Report) . The decision has shaved £800 million ($1 billion) off of Babcock's £21 billion order book and will have an annualized revenue impact of £100 million from the year 2020/21.
Cobham (CBHMF) stock was hit on Monday after the manufacturer said it is under investigation over its handling of inside information ahead of a crucial capital raising. The beleaguered defence contractor said it received notification from the Financial Conduct Authority on Friday and that the investigation relates to its April 2016 cash call.
Cobham, which is an F-35 partner of Lockheed (LMT - Get Report) and is also partnered with Boeing (BA - Get Report) on the development of the KC-46 refueling tanker, has tapped investors for cash twice in the last twelve months raising more than $1 billion.