EUROPE MARKETS: Rising Oil, Metals Prices Help Commodity Stocks Buck Losing Trend In Europe

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Euro moves back toward $1.10

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European commodity shares popped higher Monday, as oil and metals prices rose, but the gains weren't enough to keep most European equity benchmarks from tilting lower.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.1% at 395.31 after rising a modest 0.2% in early trade. Oil and gas, basic materials and financial shares were the best performing, but health care, consumer-related and telecom shares were in the red.

Commodities cruise up: The Stoxx Europe 600 Oil & Gas Index climbed 1.2% Monday, bolstered by gains of 3% for Brent and U.S. crude prices. WTI futures were trading around $49 a barrel.

Oil prices climbed after Saudi Arabian and Russian energy ministers said they back a nine-month extension to a production cut (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/crude-oil-jumps-to-2-week-high-as-saudis-russia-back-continued-output-cuts-2017-05-15) deal led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries -- proposing a longer extension than expected.

Separately, China's President Xi Jinping on Sunday pledged more than $100 billion in fresh financing (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/xi-casts-china-as-guardian-of-globalization-as-he-pledges-100-billion-to-one-belt-one-road-2017-05-15) to support its "One Belt, One Road" infrastructure program. Metals prices were pushed higher, with copper futures adding 0.6%.

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Shares of mining stocks rose alongside metals' gains, and the Stoxx Europe 600 Basic Resources Index bulked up 1.4%.

"When oil rises and China opens its [check] book, this helps to lift risk sentiment and act as a soothing balm, even though geopolitical risks are rising after frequent cyber attacks all over the world and North Korea tested its most advanced missile over the weekend," wrote Kathleen Brooks, research director at City Index.

Read:Cyber attack set to spread again Monday, experts fear (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cyberattacks-may-gear-up-again-monday-experts-fear-2017-05-14)

And see:North Korea's ballistic-missile launch viewed as challenge to new president in South (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/north-koreas-ballistic-missile-launch-viewed-as-challenge-to-new-president-in-south-2017-05-13)

In the oil group, producers Tullow Oil PLC (TLW.LN) and Statoil ASA (STL.OS) were up 4.9% and 1.8%, respectively. OMV AG leapt 6.8% after Barclays raised its rating on the integrated oil and gas company.

Among miners, Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) claimed a 2.7% rise and BHP PLC (BLT.LN) (BHP.AU) (BHP.AU) tacked on 2.4%. Steel pipe maker Tenaris (TEN.MI) moved up 2.5%.

Stock movers: Atlantia Spa shares (ATL.MI) rose 2.8% after the Italian infrastructure group launched a $17.8 billion cash-and-share offer for Spain's Abertis SA (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/atlantia-bids-178-billion-for-abertis-2017-05-15)(ABE.MC) that could create the world's biggest toll-road operator.

RWE AG (RWE.XE) picked up 3.2% after the German utility backed its full-year outlook and said it's on track to pay a dividend of 50 euro cents a share in 2017. RWE hasn't paid a dividend since 2015.

Sophos Group PLC (SOPH.LN) jumped 7.8% on the FTSE 350 Index . That moved helped the ISE Cyber Security ETF (ISPY.LN) rise 2.3%, as experts flagged the possibility of another massive cyberattack (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/anti-virus-stocks-rally-with-wannacry-cyber-attack-expected-to-go-on-the-rampage-again-2017-05-15). More than 200,000 computers at businesses, hospitals and governments in at least 150 countries were paralyzed last week by the so-called "WannaCry" malicious software.

TUI AG dropped 4.7% after the travel services company posted a slightly wider first-half adjusted loss of $251.9 million euros ($273.9 million).

Indexes: The gains for oil and metals shares slightly lifted the U.K.'s FTSE 100 . It rose 0.2% to 7,450.86 and was on track for a new record closing high.

Germany's DAX 30 index was down up 0.1% at 12,777.14 after hitting a record close on Friday. France's CAC 40 was fractionally lower at 5,404.36.

The euro was trading at $1.0981, up from $1.0932 late Friday in New York.

Read:The ECB has 3 big reasons to wind up QE--here's why it shouldn't (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-ecb-should-avoid-the-temptation-to-cancel-qe-2017-05-10) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-ecb-should-avoid-the-temptation-to-cancel-qe-2017-05-10)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 15, 2017 10:20 ET (14:20 GMT)