Europe Markets: Stocks in Europe wobble as China acts to limit virus fallout

Stocks in Europe wobbled on Monday, as markets reacted to actions taken in China to soothe its economy, which is under pressure from the spreading coronavirus.

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.25% weakened 0.05% to 410.51, flipping between gains and losses during the morning. Tech companies including software giant SAP SAP, +1.68% advanced, while the oil and mining sectors edged lower.

U.S. stock futures ES00, +0.53% rose on Monday, after January was the worst month for the S&P 500 SPX, +0.73% since August.

The big story was the reopening of markets in China, as the Shanghai Composite plunged nearly 8% after its prolonged Lunar New Year holiday. Traders outside China seemed to take solace in the declines not being as sharp as some had feared, and that the People’s Bank of China announced several measures aimed at stabilizing the economy.

Globally there are 17,485 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, causing 362 deaths, according to data maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

Shares in Ryanair RY4C, +5.84%RYAAY, +6.22%, the Irish budget airline, climbed nearly 4% after it announced a plan to extend a stock buyback program as it returned to profitability in the third quarter. Analysts at Citi said the airline’s performance surpassed expectations, with ancillary revenue growth of 21% beating the bank’s estimate of 10% growth.

Payment-services company Ingenico Group ING, +17.16% shares climbed 12% after its peer Worldline WLN, +0.47% announced a stock-and-cash bid valued at 123.10 euros per share as of Friday, in a deal the companies said would create the fourth-biggest payment services company in the world.

Worldline shares slumped 4.2%.