Investing.com - European stocks traded lower on Monday as market participants kept an eye on the backlash from U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order to institute a travel ban against seven predominately Muslim countries and several major cities respond with protests at airports.
Nearing midday in Europe, the benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 lost 0.88%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.96%, and Germany's DAX 30 traded down 0.77%.
The selloff came after Trump imposed a 90-day ban on citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen travelling to the U.S., and temporarily halted America's refugee program, insisting that the order was not against the Muslim religion but in order to protect the country from possible terrorists.
Thus far, a federal judge granted a stay on deportations for people who arrived in the U.S. with valid visas but were detained on entry.
Several U.S. companies such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) have criticized the ban, while Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) chief executive Howard Schultz promised that the company would hire 10,000 refugees globally.
In European M&A, Allianz (DE:ALVG) was reportedly considering a bid for Australia's Qbe Insurance Group (AX:QBE) that could be worth just over $15 billion, according to a report from Handelsblatt.
Vodafone (LON:VOD) confirmed that it was in talks with Aditya Birla Group to merge its telecom business in India.
Italian banks remained under pressure as UniCredit (MI:CRDI) said it will post non-recurring charges of €12.2 billion in the fourth quarter as it seeks to increase the loan loss coverage and the bank admitted that its capital ratio would not meet regulatory requirements.
On the economic front, the business and consumer survey for the euro zone in January unexpectedly rose, though the business climate reading surprised with a drop down to zero from the prior 0.8.
As expected, Spain's economy managed to repeat growth of 0.7% in the fourth quarter ahead of the release for the euro zone gross domestic product for the same period on Tuesday.
At 8:00AM ET (13:00GMT), Germany will release inflation figures for January.
Meanwhile, oil prices declined on Monday, starting the week off on negative footing as prospects of rising U.S. production weighed on the market.
Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. increased by 15 last week, the twelfth gain in 13 weeks.
That brought the total count to 566, the most since November 2015.
Energy stocks were trading lower, as French oil and gas major Total SA (PA:TOTF) fell 1.04% , Italy's ENI (MI:ENI) lost 1.90%, while Norwegian rival Statoil (OL:STL) traded down 1.64%.
Financial stocks also registered losses, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) were off 1.74% and 1.37%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) slumped 2.14% and 1.17%, respectively.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) sank 2.56% and Unicredit (MI:CRDI) plunged 5.12%, respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) fell 0.52% and 2.05%, respectively.
In London, the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 fell 0.88% amid the risk-off sentiment.
Shares in Glencore (LON:GLEN) fell 0.85%, Anglo American (LON:AAL) lost 1.64%, while BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) slumped 1.10% and 1.12%, respectively.
Energy stocks traded lower, as BP (LON:BP) dropped 1.62% and rival Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) gave up 1.03%.
Financial stocks were broadly lower as shares in HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) lost 1.10% and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) traded down 1.64%, while Barclays (LON:BARC) and
Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) lost 2.54% and 1.03%, respectively.
In the U.S., Wall Street pointed a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.30%, S&P 500 futures dropped 0.31%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures lost 0.37%.
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