LONDON — Most European stock markets were down in early afternoon trading on Monday.
The FTSE MIB in Milan fell 1.3 percent to 19,255.52, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt and the CAC 40 in Paris, which each declined 0.7 percent to 11,548.38 and 4,889.50, respectively. The FTSE 100 in London was the only market to gain ground, climbing 1 percent to 7,343.19.
The euro traded at $1.06, while the pound fetched $1.21 and the Swedish krona changed hands at $0.10 at 12:45 p.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks put an uneven show. The biggest gainers included Luxottica, which rose 8.7 percent to 53.85 euros, and Essilor, which advanced 13.1 percent to 115.50 euros. Earlier in the day the two companies announced jointly that they had agreed to a 46 billion euro merger.
Meanwhile, Hugo Boss gained 7.6 percent to 59.25 euros after having said that due to a better than expected sales and earning performance in the fourth quarter it now expects operating profit for the full year to decline at the lower end of its forecast range.
Among the biggest fallers were French Connection Group, 2.9 percent to 0.33 pounds; SuperGroup, 2.4 percent to 16.45 pounds, and Hennes & Mauritz, 2.2 percent to 244 Swedish kronor, after the company reported early Monday that its sales in December rose 6 percent versus the same prior-year period.