Italy political uncertainty eases, China US trade

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down by 0.32 percent, with all major bourses and most sectors in the red.

Financial services stocks fell the furthest, 1.23 percent lower by mid-afternoon. Close behind was the telecoms sector, 1.19 percent lower. The U.K.’s BT was among the poorest performing companies, down 2.3 percent. Last week the firm announced that it would cut 13,000 jobs in the next three years.

Meanwhile, health care was one of the few sectors in positive territory, up 0.7 percent. It recovered from last week’s slump after President Donald Trump unveiled plans to lower prescription drug prices.

Oil and gas stocks recovered from negative trade earlier on in the day catalyzed by oil prices coming off multi-year highs, and were instead 0.1 percent higher by mid-afternoon. Oil prices steadied below 3-1/2 year highs at midday London time, with Brent crude up 25 cents at $77.37 a barrel while U.S. light crude oil was up 7 cents at $70.75.

Iwg rose to the top of the European benchmark, up by 22 percent after three different companies signaled an interest in buying the firm.

The Portuguese energy firm EDP also rose 10 percent after the Chinese group Three Gorges presented a takeover bid.

At the other end of the index, Lundbergs fell 50 percent. ABN Amro was 6.5 percent lower in mid-afternoon trade as the Dutch bank’s first-quarter profits took a hit from larger-than-expected loan impairments.

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