By Avantika Chilkoti 

European stocks wavered Monday as investors wait to see if U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will succeed in his call for general elections.

The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index drifted down 0.2%, led lower by banks. HSBC Holdings was the biggest loser in Europe, shedding 4% after the bank dropped its main financial target and said it would speed up plans to revamp its U.K., U.S. and European businesses.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gauge dropped 0.3% as Mr. Johnson urged lawmakers to support his push for a Dec. 12 general election as a way to clear a path to Brexit. EU leaders agreed to a three-month extension to the Brexit deadline, extending the political uncertainty until Jan. 31. The British pound was mostly flat against the dollar.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.2%.

The yield on 10-year Italian government debt rose to 0.991% from 0.948% Friday following preliminary results from local elections this weekend. The results will allow center-right political leaders to campaign against the current administration in a bid to boost their popularity, according to analysts at UniCredit. The FTSE MIB index for Italian equities fell 0.2%.

Asian markets had a stronger start to the week. The Shanghai Composite Index gained almost 0.9% and Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 0.8%.

The yield on 10-year Treasurys rose to 1.826%, its highest level since mid-September as investors, anticipate the Federal Reserve will deliver another 25 basis point cut.

"Recent softer U.S. data would justify the cut," Barclays analysts said in a note to clients. "However, the temporary easing of global risks reduces the need for further insurance, and the Fed could signal more willingness to follow a "meeting-by-meeting" approach."

Write to Avantika Chilkoti at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 28, 2019 06:14 ET (10:14 GMT)

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