European stocks mixed amid tense Russia relations; Fresnillo up 6%; Smurfit Kappa down 3%

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Beijing and Washington had begun to quietly negotiate U.S. access to Chinese markets, easing concerns of a full-blown trade war. Stocks initially showed signs of a rally earlier in the session following the news.

But equities pared gains sharply after the U.S. and multiple EU nations moved to expel Russian diplomats on Monday. The move follows hot on the heels of the U.K.’s decision to expel Russian diplomats after the country determined that the Kremlin was responsible for the poisoning of an ex-spy on British soil.

Looking at individual stocks, Fresnillo surged to the top of the European benchmark after a ratings upgrade from Goldman Sachs. The U.S. investment bank raised its stock recommendation to “buy” and added the stock to its conviction list. Shares of Fresnillo closed 4.5 percent higher.

Meanwhile, Smurfit Kappa said it had rejected a revised bid from International Paper company, on Monday. The U.S. company had previously made an unsolicited offer at the beginning of March. Shares of Smurfit Kappa closed down more than 3 percent.

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