Europe Markets

European stocks end lower on China, Japan concerns

European stocks end lower over Asia concerns

European equities finished solidly lower on Thursday, after investor sentiment was left dented by downbeat data from Asia's two largest economies, Japan and China.

The pan-European STOXX 600 ended the day around 1.2 percent lower.

London's FTSE 100 index also closed the day 1.2 percent lower, after the Bank of England kept interest rates on hold at 0.5 percent, after policymakers decided it was as it was too early to tell whether the turmoil in China would impact the U.K. After the news, sterling rose against the U.S. dollar.

France's CAC ended roughly 1.5 percent lower, with French companies exposed to Brazil feeling the pressure after Standard & Poor's downgraded the Latin American country's credit rating to "junk".

The German DAX finished 0.9 percent down.

Oil tried to recover from Wednesday's falls, despite fresh economic concerns raised by recent data out of China and Japan.

Brent crude rose around 2 percent higher to trade at roughly $48.50 per barrel by the end of the session, with U.S. crude up 3 percent, also around $48.50.

General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt
GE's Jeff Immelt: China growth fears are overdone

Investors in Europe appear cautious as economic data out of Asia's top two economies heightened concerns over growth.

Numbers from Japan showed that core machinery orders fell 3.6 percent in July from a month earlier, missing expectations for a rise of 3.7 percent.

Over in China, the consumer price index rose 2 percent in August from a year earlier, beating expectations for a 1.8 percent gain and up from 1.6 percent in July.

However, China's producer price index declined 5.9 percent, signaling that deflation remains a risk for the world's second largest economy.

Miners and oil feel the heat

Several London-listed companies reported earnings on Thursday. U.K. fashion retailer Next reported a 7.1 percent rise in first-half profit on Thursday and raised its dividend, while struggling supermarket chain Morrisons said underlying profit before tax plunged 35 percent in the first half of 2015.

Next shares ended 1.3 percent higher; Morrisons saw its share price close 2.8 percent down.

Basic resources was the worst hit sector on Thursday, due to fresh fears from Asia. Glencore and Anglo American, among others, closed sharply in the red, down 7.8 and 3.5 percent respectively.