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Europe ends under pressure as earnings dominate

European equities closed lower on Monday, as investors mulled the latest corporate earnings and a surprise rate cut from China.

The pan-European STOXX 600 closed 0.4 percent lower, with most sectors paring earlier gains.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index closed provisionally down 0.4 percent, while the French CAC 40 ended down 0.5 percent.

However, Germany's DAX ended unofficially up 0.1 percent, following a better-than-expected Ifo business sentiment survey.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
FTSE
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DAX
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CAC
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IBEX 35
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In other markets, Asian stocks extended their rally after the rate cut in China fueled risk appetite. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) lowered its benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points on Friday, alongside a half-percentage cut in the reserve requirement ratio (RRR), in a bid to jumpstart a slowing economy.

U.S. stocks struggled for gains as investors readied for another week of earnings and central bank announcements.

Back in Europe, earnings season continued in full swing. WPP, the world's biggest advertising company, reported a 5.9 percent rise in third-quarter revenue, due to a strong performance in North America. However, shares closed down 2.2 percent lower.

French carmaker Peugeot said third-quarter revenues were up 3.2 percent year-on-year but sales volumes fell 4.3 percent, with a 17 percent decline in Asia. Shares reacted negatively, finishing down 3.6 percent.

Dutch firm Philips reported third quarter net profit of 324 million euros versus a loss of 103 million euros the year before, but said that the sale of its Lumileds lighting business, worth $3.3 billion is in doubt because of opposition from the U.S. government. Despite sharp losses at the session's start, Philips only closed 0.4 percent lower.

Shares in chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor tanked over 20 percent after reporting third-quarter earnings and guidance which missed expectations. The company is a major provider of semiconductors to Apple, who reports earnings on after the close on Tuesday.

U.K. broadband provider TalkTalk said on Sunday it had hired defense company BAE Systems to investigate a cyber attack that may have led to the theft of personal data from its more than four million customers, Reuters reported. Shares sunk, ending down over 12 percent.

In other commodity news, oil prices slipped on Monday, hitting energy stocks. Both Seadrill and Tullow Oil, for instance, closed down 3.7 percent.

The Federal Open Market Committee kicks off its two-day meeting Tuesday, while a Bank of Japan meeting later this week is in focus, for any hints on further stimulus.