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What to Watch: Trump's OPEC ask, Spain's political uncertainty, and Italian bank lift

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
A big banner depicting Spanish conservative People’s Party (PP) leader and candidate for prime minister Pablo Casado hangs on the party’s headquarters facade after Spain held general elections on April 28, 2019. Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:

Oil majors weigh on the FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 (FTSE^) traded flat on Monday as Shell (RDSA.L) and BP (BP.L) slightly fell into negative territory following in line with the drop in crude oil prices.

US president Donald Trump asked the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a club of producing countries, to raise crude oil output in a bid to soften any the impact of US sanctions against Iran would have on the country. Oil prices (BZ=F) fell by nearly 1% on the news, dragging oil majors in tandem.

Meanwhile, online supermarket Ocado (OCDO.L) was one of the biggest losers for the index, after its share price slipped when it disclosed the cause of the fire at its Andover site earlier this year.

The stocks offsetting losses today included travel groups TUI (TUI.L) and Thomas Cook (TCG.L). The travel operators’ share prices increased by more than 2% after Thomas Cook revealed that British holidaymakers are favouring destinations outside the European Union.

Italian banks boost European shares amid political uncertainty in Spain

The pan-European STOXX 600 index moved higher in early trading with all country indexes slightly in the green — expect Spain.

The UK’s FTSE, Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI), France’s CAC (^FCHI), and Italy’s FTSE MIB (FTSEMIB.MI) were all up just 0.3% while Spain’s IBEX (^IBEX) was down by 0.4%.

Italians banks provided some of the biggest lift for European markets as upbeat industrial data from China provided support, pushing up the Unicredit (UCG.MI) share price up by 2%.

Meanwhile, market participants took a cautious note as uncertainty ensued over the state of the Spanish government.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez overcame a historic challenge by right-wing nationalists but will need the aid of regional parties, or the centre right, to form a government.