By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
European stock markets listless
Shares of Air France-KLM on Monday nosedived on a warning over bookings, and other airlines weakened, in mostly listless European stock markets on Monday.
Air France-KLM plunged 9% as the airline said "close-in bookings in the peak travel period are weaker than foreseen in view of softening macro-economic environment."
Mark Simpson, an analyst at Goodbody Stockbrokers, said consensus operating profit forecasts of 1.3 billion euros "will likely move lower on the implied implications for yields on weaker close in bookings." The guidance had been for stable pricing for the network airlines.
Separately, a French minister told Le Parisien that Air France "wanted to make an offer" for the bankrupt airline Aigle Azur, Reuters reported (https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-air-france-klm-aigle-azur/air-france-klm-shares-slump-on-reports-of-rescue-of-bankrupt-aigle-azur-idUKKCN1VU0MQ?il=0).
Other European airlines including easyJet , International Consolidated Airlines Group , Ryanair Holdings and Deutsche Lufthansa also lost ground. British Airways, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group, separately was forced to cancel nearly all of its flights due to an airline strike.
Broader markets showed little movement. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.07% to 387.40.
The German DAX increased 0.32% to 12230.31, the French CAC 40 gained 0.03% to 5605.57 and the U.K. FTSE 100 weakened 0.29% to 7261.56.
U.S. stock futures were a bit stronger.
There was a slight bit of positive news on the U.S.-China trade war front as Politico reported that China offered to make modest U.S. agricultural purchases -- if the U.S. relaxed restrictions on Huawei and also delayed the next tariff increase.
U.K. economic data came in better than forecast, with monthly GDP rising by 0.3% and industrial production edging upward in July.
Of other notable movers, ProSiebenSat.1 Media rallied 5% as UBS upgraded the company to buy from neutral, saying it's too cheap to ignore despite the macro headwinds.
Associated British Foods fell over 2% after reiterating that adjusted EPS will be flat for the year.