European Factors to Watch-Shares set to edge down as oil hits 11-year low

lunes 21 de diciembre de 2015 03:26 GYT

LONDON Dec 21 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen edging lower on Monday, with oil firms set to be in focus as Brent crude hit an 11-year low and attention on Spanish stocks after elections.

Brent crude prices fell to levels last seen in 2004 on Monday, dropping below the lows hit during the 2008 financial crisis on renewed worries over an oil glut.

Futures on the Euro STOXX 50, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were 0.1-0.2 percent lower, while futures on Germany's DAX were flat.

European shares reacted positively to a U.S. Federal Reserve decision to raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade last week. However, they have already given up most of the Fed-inspired gains, with investors turning cautious and taking profits before the holiday season.

Spanish stocks were also expected to be in focus after a weekend election. Neither Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservatives nor left-wing parties won a clear mandate to govern following a historically fragmented vote in Spanish elections on Sunday, with talks to form a coalition government expected to take weeks.

"Spanish elections over the weekend may well have created a new headache for the (euro area) as support grew for anti-austerity parties which prevented the Conservate Popular Party from achieving a majority," Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA said in a note.

"In fact, they were so far from it that a coalition government led by them looks very unlikely at this stage."

Among company news, Volkswagen plans to limit the time staff can remain in certain roles, its supervisory board chairman told a German weekly, in a step to improve oversight at the German carmaker following a scandal over technology which cheated emissions tests.