European stocks flat at start of holiday-shortened week

By Thomson Reuters Mar 25, 2024 | 3:37 AM

(Reuters) – European stocks were little changed at the start of holiday-shortened week as investors assessed recent big gains spurred by dovish views from major central banks.

The STOXX 600 index slipped 0.02% on Monday, hovering just below record highs hit last week. Gains in travel and leisure stocks were offset by losses in retailers.

Goldman Sachs raised its 2024 year-end target for the STOXX 600 to 540 from 510, citing possible improvement in economic growth and monetary policy easing across central banks. The latest target implies a nearly 6% upside from Friday’s close of 509.64.

Among big movers, shares of Direct Line tumbled 12.3% after Belgian insurer Ageas said it did not intend to make a further offer for the British home and motor insurer after it turned down two previous proposals.

Swedish real estate group SBB jumped 12.4% after it said it would buy back debt at a discount of 60% compared with the debt’s original value, in an attempt to calm investors’ nerves as it scrambles to tackle a multi-billion debt pile.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)