Europe Close Lower on Central Bank Fears
European shares closed lower on Wednesday, mirroring losses in U.S. markets, on continuing concerns about an imminent scaling back of ultra-loose monetary policies by central banks.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index closed provisionally down 0.3 percent at 1,176.14 points, extending the previous session's decline. Trade on the index stood at around 75 percent of the 90-day daily average on Wednesday, exaggerating market moves.
Cyclical stocks like media and retail were among the best performing sectors. However, the auto sector underperformed after Volkswagen reported it was recalling almost 26,000 cars in Australia. Volkswagen shares closed around 2.75 percent lower on the day.
(Read More: Why Cyclicals Are Hot for Investors This Summer)
Earlier in the day, stocks were temporarily boosted by better-than-expected industrial output data for the euro zone. Output rose by 0.4 percent in April, beating expectations of a flat-to-0.1 percent rise.
(Read More: Surprise Rise in Euro Zone Industrial Output)
In Germany, the final day of a two-day hearing about the ECB's unlimited bond-buying program got under way, with the government encouraging the court to dismiss a legal challenge to the program.
In Turkey, two-week long anti-government protests continued. However, Turkish stocks showed signs of shaking off concerns, with the country's benchmark index closing unofficially 2.45 percent higher at 76,880 points.
Also, the Greek government announced it would close its public broadcasting service and lay off all 2,700 employees, before launching a slimmed-down version. The employees have launched protests, and concerns have reignited about Greece's political stability.
(Read More: Greece Back in Crisis After TV Shutdown)
M&A Bids in Focus
Vodafone closed around 5 percent lower after confirming it had made an offer to buy Germany's biggest cable company, Kabel Deutschland. Shares in Kabel Deutschland closed more than 8 percent higher, topping the list of gainers on the Stoxx 600.
(Read More: Vodafone Bids $13.3 Billion for German Cable Giant)