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European Markets Finish Little Changed In Cautious Trading

The European markets ended Monday's session with mixed results, but remained little changed overall. Traders were in a cautious mood ahead of tomorrow's U.S. midterm elections, as well as this week's policy statement from the Federal Reserve.

While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders will keep a close eye on the accompanying statement for clues about an expected rate hike in December.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index weakened by 0.16 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks increased 0.09 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.41 percent.

The DAX of Germany dropped 0.21 percent and the CAC of France fell 0.02 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.14 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.18 percent.

In Paris, Societe Generale rose 0.26 percent after the bank entered into an agreement to sell Euro Bank, its retail banking subsidiary in Poland, to Bank Millennium.

Total SA increased 2.29 percent after it signed a memorandum of understanding with Sempra Energy to develop North American LNG export projects.

STMicroelectronics NV declined 3.66 percent. The semiconductor company has launched a share buy-back program of up to $750 million to be executed within a 3-year period.

In London, software product group Micro Focus International advanced 1.99 percent. The company said that it's trading for the twelve months ended October 31 has continued in line with the Board's expectations with an improved revenue trajectory in the second half of the year.

Novartis rose 0.84 percent in Zurich after issuing a Research & Development update, highlighting its development pipeline including potential blockbusters and advanced therapy platforms.

Heineken N.V. finished up by 0.55 percent in Amsterdam after it signed a definitive agreement with China Resources Enterprise and China Resources Beer (Holdings) Co. to create a long-term strategic partnership for Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Eurozone's investor sentiment eroded for a third consecutive month in November to its lowest level in two years, survey data from Sentix showed on Monday. The Sentix investor confidence indicator dropped to 8.8 from 11.4 in October. The latest reading, which matched economists' expectations, was the lowest since October 2016.

The UK service sector registered its slowest rate of expansion in seven months in October, survey results from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed Monday. The services Purchasing Managers' Index dropped more-than-expected to 52.2 in October from 53.9 in September. The expected level was 53.4.

China's private sector expanded at the weakest pace in more than two years in October with both services and manufacturing noting weaker performances, survey results from IHS Markit showed Monday. The Caixin composite output index fell to a 28-month low of 50.5 in October from 52.1 in September.

Reflecting a slight cooling off after a record month in September, the Institute for Supply Management released a report on Monday showing a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in U.S. service sector activity in the month of October.

The ISM said its non-manufacturing index dipped to 60.3 in October after climbing to 61.6 in September, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the service sector. Economists had expected the index to drop to 59.3.

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