European stocks were mainly lower on Monday morning following hawkish comments by Federal Reserve policymakers last week and as oil prices declined on concerns about global oversupply.
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said that the case for an increase in the US benchmark interest rate had strengthened in recent months, during a speech at the Jackson Hole gathering of central bankers. She said the Fed expects moderate growth in the US economy, additional strengthening in the labour market, and inflation rising to 2 per cent over the next few years.
Separately, Yellen’s Deputy, Stanley Fischer, indicated in a CNBC interview that the Fed might raise rates this year not once but twice.
Focus among traders is now shifting to the US non-farm payrolls number which is due out on Friday.