European Markets Close Lower on U.S. Bond Yield Jitters; G4S Down 10%

  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.4% lower, with tech stocks shedding 1.9% to lead losses.
  • Investors have grown concerned about rising bond yields in recent weeks.
  • The U.K. unveiled how it plans to lift lockdown measures gradually in the coming months.

LONDON — European stocks closed lower on Monday amid cautious trade in global markets.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished the session down by over 0.4%, with tech stocks shedding 1.9% to lead losses, while the travel and leisure sector bucked the downward trend to surge 4.3%.

The lackluster session follows a trend set in other regions; U.S. stocks fell on Monday as a continuous rise in bond yields dented the appetite for risk assets, particularly technology stocks.

Some equity investors have grown concerned about rapidly rising bond yields in recent weeks as they could hurt high-growth companies reliant on easy borrowing, and diminish the relative appeal of stocks. Rising bond yields reflect market confidence that an economic recovery is near, following the coronavirus pandemic.

The 10-year Treasury yield yield continued to climb on Monday, surpassing 1.37% during afternoon trade in Europe.

Developments surrounding the pandemic and vaccine rollout remain in focus. The U.K. on Monday unveiled how it plans to lift lockdown measures gradually in the coming months, as its vaccination rollout maintains its good pace.

On the data front, Germany's Ifo Institute business climate index rose in February, with sentiment in Europe's largest economy improving by more than expected on both current conditions and expectations.

In terms of individual share price movement, Anglo-German travel operator Tui climbed more than 5% to the top of the Stoxx 600, leading a broad rally for travel stocks as the U.K. outlined its emergence from lockdown and several airlines amended their policies.

At the bottom of the index, German car battery manufacturer Varta dropped more than 10.7%, continuing a downward trend since the company's earnings report last week, after Berenberg downgraded the stock to "hold" from "buy."

G4S shares fell 9.8% after Canada's GardaWorld said it would not raise its takeover bid for the British security firm.

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