European shares slip at end of stellar month; eyes on Brexit

Europe’s benchmark stock index opened lower on Monday with focus on Brexit negotiations, but was still on track for its best month on record on the prospect of easing coronavirus restrictions and hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine.

After face-to-face talks restarted on Saturday, investors await news of a call between UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, seen as the first sign of movement either towards a trade deal or of talks crumbling five weeks ahead of the deadline.

London’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.3%, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.5% after four weeks of gains which have seen it rise nearly 15% so far in November.

Oil and gas stocks were the biggest decliners in Europe, down 2%, with BP and Royal Dutch Shell sliding as crude prices fell ahead of a meeting of producer group OPEC+ to decide whether to extend large output cuts to balance global markets.

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