Europe stocks close near record-highs, but autos weigh
European equities closed narrowly lower in a choppy trading session on Monday, as disappointing third quarter earnings weighed. However, stocks remained near 5-year highs.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index closed provisionally 0.1 percent lower at 1,283.3 points, close to a five-year high of 1,291.9 reached last week.
Auto stocks were the standout laggards, with Peugeot Citroen shares closing nearly 6 percent lower after UBS released a note saying it did not see Peugeot's future as a standalone car maker.
(Read more: Peugeot stock tumbles on rights issue reports)
Bourses had opened higher on Monday morning, however, with bullish global investor sentiment helped along by a slew of strong earnings news. The Netherlands' TNT Express reported third quarter earnings in line with expectations; shares closed around 4.4 percent higher.
In addition, shares of power generation company Aggreko closed nearly 6 percent higher after it reported full-year earnings that met expectations.
Spanish lender Bankia also received a bounce after it reported a post-tax profit for the first nine months of the year. However, shares turned direction after Societe Generale downgraded the company from "hold" to sell", and Bankia shares closed more than 4 percent lower.
(Read More: Bankia's 9-month profit beats forecasts)
In the U.S., stocks wavered on either side of neutral Monday, after the Dow and S&P 500 closed higher for the third-straight week and investors awaited news from the Federal Reserve's policy-setting meeting.
"Investors are waiting for more in terms of earnings and economic reports," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial Group. "The tone of the market overall remains positive, but the rate of gains may slow down from the rate we've seen over the past several weeks."
Meanwhile, British airlines such as Easyjet and insurers such as Aviva were impacted by bad weather, which disrupted flights and caused regional power outages. Trading was also low on the FTSE 100 due to the storms, coinciding with a children's school holiday in the U.K. with some staying away from their desks. The index closed provisionally 0.1 percent higher.
Follow us on Twitter: