Energy shares plunged as talks expected to end in a freeze of oil output collapsed
London - AFP
Energy shares tumbled Monday as oil prices skidded after the world's top producers failed to reach a deal on freezing output in weekend talks in Doha.
"Discord in Doha has left oil prices weaker and has prompted a drop across European equity markets," said CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler.
Frankfurt, London and Paris all shed more than 1.0 percent in opening deals, but later tempered their losses.
By mid afternoon, the Dax in Frankfurt and FTSE 100 in London were still slightly lower. The Paris CAC 40 crept into positive territory.
In Russia, stocks tumbled as the Doha news appeared to spell more trouble for the country's energy-reliant economy. Moscow's RTS index was down by more than four percent in early trade before recovering slightly.
US stocks made gains, however, as analysts said the Doha talks' collapse had not battered oil prices as badly as feared.
Oil prices fell on news that top producers meeting in the Qatari capital on Sunday had failed to reach a deal to cap output, fanning fresh fears over a supply glut that has plagued the market.
“Equities and oil have more or less traded in lockstep in 2016, so the failure of Doha talks at the weekend and the resulting weakness in the price of oil are unlikely to be taken well by the market as a new week of trading begins," said Russ Mould, investment director at brokerage AJ Bell.
“BP and Shell were early and inevitable casualties as investors reacted to the fall in oil prices."
In London, BP's share price slid 0.3 percent in mid afternoon trade, while Royal Dutch Shell's 'A' stock was down 1.6 percent.
In Paris, French oil and gas giant Total dropped 0.7 percent to stand at 42.23 euros.
Discussions in the Qatari capital floundered, with OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia insisting it would not agree to freeze production without the participation of fellow cartel member Iran -- which boycotted the talks.
Rebecca O'Keefe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, warned that the Doha disappointment represented a major "risk" for equity investors.
"OPEC's failure to come to an agreement on limiting output is a significant risk for both the oil market and equities, given the high positive correlation that currently exists between oil prices and global equity markets," she told AFP.
While key producer Iran had said it was unwilling to freeze output -- having just resumed exports after years of Western sanctions -- there had been hopes that all other majors at the talks would hammer out a deal.
The Doha news sent oil sliding by about 3.5 percent on Monday, weighing heavily also on Asian energy firms.
Earlier in the day, Hong Kong ended 0.7 percent lower, Shanghai closed down 1.4 percent, Seoul sank 0.3 percent and Singapore slipped 0.7 percent.
In Hong Kong China's CNOOC lost 1.6 percent and PetroChina was off 1.9 percent. Inpex in Tokyo was three percent lower.
Tokyo's Nikkei closed 3.4 percent lower, with earthquake worries also hitting sentiment.
Toyota, Sony and Honda each lost at least four percent as their production lines on Japan's southwestern island of Kyushu remained offline due to deadly earthquakes.
- Key figures around 1410 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 6,334.92 points
Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 10,044.31
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.1 percent at 4,499.54
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.2 percent at 3,049.56
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 3.4 percent at 16,275.95 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.4 percent at 3,033.66 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.7 percent at 21,161.50 (close)