European stocks mixed as investors monitor Brexit situation and stimulus hopes

European stocks traded mixed as investors monitored the political chaos in the U.K. and cautious hopes for policy stimulus from the world’s major economies

European stocks traded mixed on Monday morning as investors monitor ongoing political chaos in the U.K. and cautious hopes for policy stimulus from the world’s major economies after a series of weak data releases.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered just above the flatline by late morning, weighed down by the FTSE 100 as other major bourses edged into positive territory. Auto stocks added 1.6% to lead gains while the food and beverage sector slid 0.7%.

British newspaper the Daily Telegraph reported late on Sunday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has prepared a legal strategy to counter opposition lawmakers’ attempts to enforce a three month extension to the U.K.’s Brexit deadline if no deal is agreed by October 31.

Meanwhile opposition parliamentarians are due to request an emergency debate on Monday in a bid to force the government to publish a no-deal Brexit planning document and make Johnson adhere to the new law blocking a no-deal departure, ITV news has reported.

Johnson suffered another blow over the weekend after Amber Rudd, the government’s work and pensions minister, resigned and left the ruling Conservative party, accusing the prime minister of showing no evidence of working toward a new Brexit deal with Brussels.

Stocks in Asia traded mostly higher Monday afternoon as a series of recent weak data releases in major economies, including the U.S. and China, raised expectations of monetary stimulus from central banks. Mainland Chinese stocks led gains with the Shenzhen composite and Shenzhen component each gaining more than 1%.

In corporate news, CNBC reported on Sunday that JPMorgan Chase & Co is close to winning the lead advisory role for Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO), with the oil giant also set to give roles to Citi, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Samba.

In terms of individual stocks, German media company Prosiebensat1 climbed 5.2% after UBS upgraded the stock from neutral to buy and raised its target price.

At the other end of the European blue chip index, Air France KLM shares fell 8.2% after the publication of the airline’s traffic figures for August, which came in weaker than expected.

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