European shares were flat on Monday as markets struggled to hold on to the tailwind from a rebound seen last week, while London stocks led regional gains following upbeat performances by energy firms on the back of higher oil prices.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) held near 462.5 points, trading barely within a three-point range, while London’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE) index, housing Europe’s top oil companies, led gains with a 0.5% climb.
The European oil & gas sector index (.SXEP) climbed 0.9%, lifted by rising oil prices after top global exporter Saudi Arabia pledged to cut production by another 1 million barrels per day from July, reported Reuters.
Markets struggled to sustain the optimism from gains posted on Friday after euro zone inflation eased, the US averted a debt default, and receding bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve might pause interest rate hikes this month.
The STOXX 600 ended May with declines of over 3%, logging its worst monthly performance this year as much of the month went by with worries about the U.S. debt ceiling standoff and signs of a global economic slowdown.