European shares closed down on Wednesday, as the U.S. government shutdown continued and jobs data came in weak. However, Italian shares rallied after Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a vote of confidence in the Senate by a resounding margin.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index provisionally closed down 0.7 percent at 1,246.79 points, after private sector job creation in the U.S. came in lighter than expected in September, but remained in the same slow-but-steady growth range.
(Read More: Private jobs come in light for September: ADP)
Meanwhile, the political impasse in the U.S entered its second day, which weighed heavily on investor sentiment. The White House ordered federal departments to execute shutdown plans, leaving nearly 800,000 people on unpaid leave, after Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on a spending bill before Monday's midnight deadline.
It is uncertain when the standoff will end, but the dispute raises concerns over the looming debt ceiling, which must be raised before October 17, if the government is to avoid a debt default.
In the meantime, U.S. stocks traded lower on Wednesday, wiping out most of the previous session's gains.
The Italian FTSE MIB was a standout gainer among European indexes. Shares rose around 0.8 percent after Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote in the Senate, after center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi reneged on his promise to bring down the government.
(Read More: Letta wins confidence vote as Berlusconi backs down)
Letta delivered a strong speech to the Italian Senate on why he should remain in office on Wednesday morning, and warned lawmakers of a "fatal" risk to the country's political and economic future if they gave him a vote of no confidence.
In other news, the European Central Bank (ECB) kept its main interest rate unchanged at record low of 0.5 percent on Wednesday.
(Read More: ECB holds rates, scrutiny switches to cheap loans)
Shares of U.K. supermarket Tesco slipped 0.5 percent after reporting flat quarterly sales for its second quarter.
Meanwhile, shares of luxury brand LVMH closed down around 2.2 percent after it was revealed that star designer Marc Jacobs was leaving Louis Vuitton after 16 years with the fashion brand.
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