Europe Markets

Europe closes under pressure; Syngenta jumps; commodities eyed

European markets close: Earnings stress

European equities closed sharply lower on Friday as slumping commodity prices and weak earnings reports continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

Syngenta jumps

The pan-European STOXX 600 index finished 0.8 percent down provisionally, dragged down by U.S. markets. On the week, the STOXX 600 closed over 2.7 percent lower.

Syngenta jumped as much as 10 percent during trade and remained near the top of the STOXX 600 on media reports that ChemChina had made an initial $42 billion takeover bid for the agricultural giant. Syngenta declined to comment to CNBC, but media reports suggested that the initial offer was rejected. Syngenta shares closed up 5.3 percent.

France's CAC index and Germany's DAX both slipped, ending down 1 and 0.7 percent retrospectively, following flash gross domestic product data for the third quarter.

France's economy expanded from a flat base in the second quarter, but German growth slowed from the second quarter when gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.4 percent. Overall, the euro zone grew 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter, below forecasts from analysts polled by Reuters for a 0.4 percent expansion.

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The U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended 1 percent down, with the commodity-heavy index hit by record low prices for metals and oil.

Crude oil futures were on track for their biggest weekly loss in over two months, as swelling stocks added pressure to the market. On top of this, the International Energy Agency said oil stockpiles were at a record 3 billion barrels.

Brent crude gave up earlier gains to trade 0.8 percent lower, at $43.75, while U.S. crude tanked over 2.5 percent, down at $40.61.

This was a setback for oil firms, with both Sbm Offshore and Seadrill closing over 4 percent lower. Tullow Oil ended 3 percent down.

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In addition, Bouygues posted higher-than-expected profit, thanks to an improvement in its telecommunications business and held its outlook. Despite this, shares of the Paris-listed industrial group pared sharp gains to finish down 0.3 percent.

Construction and engineering firm ACS also dropped 3 percent after sales and core earnings missed expectations.

Luxury goods maker, Ferragamo slipped to close over 8 percent, after it said market expectations for its 2015 earnings, would be difficult to attain, according to Reuters. This caused a slump in other luxury brands, with Burberry, Swatch Group and LVMH all ending over 2.5 percent lower.

Plus, Frankfurt-listed shares of Perrigo finished trade 10 percent lower on media reports that a hostile takeover bid by generic drugmaker Mylan looked unlikely to succeed.

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