Energy stocks provide support as European shares open flat – Economic Times

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MILAN: European shares steadied in opening deals on Monday, helped by a rise in energy stocks prompted by growing tensions in the Middle East, while public holidays reduced activity.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.06 per cent, while Britain’s FTSE, which hit a fresh record high on Friday, was up 0.07 per cent, as sterling slipped after a deadly attack in London just days before a national election on Thursday.

Energy stocks provided the biggest boost to both the STOXX and the FTSE, as oil prices rose after top crude exporter Saudi Arabia and other Arab states cut off ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Shares in companies in which Qatar holds stakes were mixed. Miner Glencore was down 0.9 per cent in a weaker mining sector, while Spanish utility Iberdrola, British bank Barclays and French builder Vinci were flat.

The German stock market and some other European bourses were closed due to a religious public holiday. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Gareth Jones