RTTNews - The major European markets are poised to open flat to slightly lower on Monday, as a drop in oil prices might curb the buying interest of investors as concerns about the near-term economic outlook looms large even amid underlying optimism about the slowdown in the pace of the downturn. Weak trading across the markets in Asia might also impact sentiment.

In the U.S., stocks finished Friday's session on a mixed note after traders were presented with mixed economic data. A report released by the Reuters / University of Michigan revealed that consumer sentiment continued to improve in the month of June. The preliminary reading of the consumer sentiment index for June came in at 69.0 compared to a reading of 68.7 in May. Economists had been expecting a somewhat more notable increase to a reading of 69.5.

Separately, a report from the Labor Department showed that import prices climbed by 1.3% in May, compared to a 1.1% increase in April. Export prices also rose, climbing by 0.6% in May following an increase of 0.4% in the previous month. Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices fell 17.6%, while export prices slipped by 6.5%.

While the Nasdaq closed down 3.57 points or 0.2% at 1,859, the Dow closed up 28.34 points or 0.3% at 8,799 and the S&P 500 closed up 1.32 points or 0.1% at 946.

Meanwhile, the European markets fell for the first time in four days on Friday, as energy and mining stocks slipped after crude oil and copper prices dropped. Weaker-than-expected industrial production data in the Euro area also impacted market sentiment.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.23% lower at 886, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index fell 0.10% to 2,192. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index slipped 0.45% to 4,442, while France's CAC 40 index fell 0.26% to 3,326 and Germany's DAX index dropped 0.74% to 5,069.

On the economic front, the Federal Statistical Office of Switzerland is set to release producer and import prices for May at 3.15 am ET. The index is forecast to drop 4.8% annually and remain flat on a monthly basis. Italian labor cost data is due from the Italian statistical office ISTAT at 4.00am ET. Labor cost had increased 3.5% year-on-year in the fourth quarter.

In corporate news, mortgage lender Lloyds Banking Group might react to reports that the company might write-off GBP 450 million worth of loans advanced to pub group Admiral Taverns Ltd.

Among auto stocks, sports car maker Porsche SE may be in focus after newspaper reports quoting people familiar with the matter revealed that Qatar might take 25% stake in the company.

Oil-field services provider Technip SA might see activity after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock from neutral to buy.

Drug-maker Astra Zeneca might react to the news that Citigroup has upgraded its rating on the stock to buy.

Vedanta Resources might evince interest in reaction to reports that the mining conglomerate, will increase the size of the note portion of its offer to take copper giant Asarco LLC out of bankruptcy.

Serco Group plc (SRP.L) might react to news that it has renewed and expanded its contract with the Dubai Airports Co. for air traffic services at Dubai International Airport. The new contract is valued at GBP 245 million over a longer period of ten years, and builds on the air traffic services that Serco has provided to Dubai for more than 40 years.

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