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EghtesadOnline: European stocks were steady, with shares in energy companies extending Friday’s loss after Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries cut off most diplomatic and economic ties to gas-rich Qatar.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed at 392.00 as of 8:27 a.m. in London, halting a two-session gain. Trading may be muted as markets were closed for a public holiday in a number of European countries including Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Greece and Ireland, according to Bloomberg.

  • The Stoxx oil & gas sector fell 0.2 percent after dropping 1.3 percent on Friday, its biggest decline since April. The sector is still down 6.1 percent this year, the worst performance among industry groups in Europe.
  • Investors should be cautious about equity markets following recent sharp gains and as red flags start to appear, JPMorgan equity strategists including Mislav Matejka and Emmanuel Cau wrote in a note, citing mixed U.S. macro indicators among other effects.
  • Shares in Ocado Group Plc rose as much as 7.6 percent in the U.K. after company signed an agreement with an unidentified “regional European retailer” to use its Smart Platform.
Europe stocks Saudi-Qatar relationship Saudi alliance Qatar crisis energy sector