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European investors in better spirits after political uncertainty fuelled losses

Europe’s top stocks saw modest gains on Monday after a bruising week (Tim Goode/PA)
Europe’s top stocks saw modest gains on Monday after a bruising week (Tim Goode/PA)

Europe’s top stocks saw modest gains on Monday after a bruising week which has seen London overtake Paris as home to the continent’s biggest stock market.

London’s FTSE 100 recovered some of its losses from during the day but just about closed in the red, down 4.71 points, or 0.06%, to 8,142.15.

It was a much more positive session for France’s Cac 40 which lost more than 6% of its value last week, as financial markets reacted to heightened political uncertainty in the country.

On Monday the index, which counts the likes of BNP Paribas, LVMH and L’Oreal among its constituents, was 0.91%% higher.

Nevertheless, stocks in the UK are now collectively worth more than in France, according to data compiled by Bloomberg which showed the impact of a tough week for the country’s stock market.

Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at AJ Bell, said that London’s “newly-regained crown lost a little of its lustre” during Monday afternoon.

“But the more domestically-focused FTSE 250 was still showing signs of the life that has helped the UK take back the title of Europe’s biggest stock market,” she said.

Over in the US, it was a slow start to trading with the S&P 500 up 0.1% and Dow Jones more or less flat by the time European markets closed.

The pound was down about 0.1% against the US dollar at 1.268, and down 0.2% against the euro at 1.183.

The price of Brent crude oil moved 0.8% higher to about 83 US dollars per barrel.

In company news, shares in Mind Gym tumbled to an all-time low after revealing that a challenging year had seen it swing to a pre-tax loss of £12 million.

The behavioural science-led company said it had been “unable to escape the headwinds that have been felt widely across HR services”, with companies reducing spending or allocating budgets elsewhere.

The update sent shares in Mind Gym to a record low price, closing 22.1% lower.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Beazley, up 19p to 673.5p, B&M European, up 11.5p to 474.5p, Hargreaves Lansdown, up 22.5p to 1,073.5p, Entain, up 13.2p to 669.2p, and Intermediate Capital, up 42p to 2,234p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were ConvaTec, down 9.6p to 244.2p, Melrose Industries, down 22.6p to 578p, Severn Trent, down 89p to 2,385p, Ocado, down 9.8p to 347.5p, and United Utilities, down 25p to 1,011.5p.