Europe ends under pressure on Paris concerns; miners jump

Europe ends under pressure on Paris concerns; miners jump

European equities closed mixed Wednesday as further security scares after the Paris attacks last Friday weighed on investor confidence.

The pan-European STOXX 600 finished down 0.1 to 0.2 percent provisionally, with most sectors closing in negative territory.

Tensions were high in Europe on Wednesday amid more security concerns surrounding the Paris terrorist attacks on Friday, in .

On Wednesday morning seven people were arrested and at least two suspects died following police raids in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.

Also on Wednesday, Air France said that two Paris-bound flights that had been diverted following anonymous threats had landed safely.

Luxury, travel names in focus after Paris attacks

Air France-KLM shares wobbled throughout trade, finishing down 0.5 percent, with other names in the travel sector in focus following the news. France's Accor and airlines Easyjet and all came under pressure during the session, closing in negative territory.

The knock-on effect from the Paris terrorist attacks was also felt in the luxury sector amid concerns of consumer spending and how the security threat might affect visits to the French capital which is a hub for high-end shopping. LVMH, Luxottica and Pandora all closed more than 1 percent down. However, Kering, the owner of Gucci, and Swatch finished trade slightly up.

Overall, France's CAC 40 index was off 0.6 percent by the close, while fellow indices, London's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX finished around the flat line.

Commodities rebound; oil eyed

Commodity names were under pressure early in the day as the price of iron ore closed in on a seven-year low as concerns of China steel demand continued, but reversed losses to trade higher.

Glencore, Anglo American and BHP Billiton were all lower as a result and after Investec cut its price target for those stocks on Tuesday. However, all of those names reversed losses to finish trade higher, with both Anglo American and Glencore closing above 4 percent.

Amsterdam-listed steelmaker Arcelormittal saw shares jump 4.8 percent after it said it would cut up to 450 jobs and reduce iron exports from Liberia due to low ore prices. And Antofagasta finished up almost 6 percent after Goldman Sachs raised its outlook for the stock from "sell" to "neutral".

Oil prices shot up during Wednesday's trade following reports of falling stockpiles and rising refinery activity in the United States, however concerns over a global supply glut kept prices capped. At the close, prices had pared, with Brent crude at $43.86 a barrel and U.S. crude was at $40.82.

Oil stocks however continued to post strong gains, with SBM Offshore closing up almost 4 percent, while Tullow Oil, Subsea 7, and Statoil all finished up 3 percent or higher.

Syngenta rises on takeover talk

Shares in Swiss pesticide maker Syngenta closed up 3.3 percent after Monsanto's president said it was considering acquiring rivals.

Finland's second-biggest retailer, Kesko, announced plans to buy rival convenience store chain Suomen Lahikauppa for about 60 million euros ($64 million), sending shares in the firm over 7 percent higher.

Rolls Royce shares fell sharply, down 2.2 percent after Investec cut its price target for the stock and gave it a "sell" rating.

And Air Liquide shares plunged to close over 7 percent after it agreed to buy U.S. peer Airgas in a $13.4 billion deal.

In Asia overnight, shares mostly advanced but traders remained cautious. Greater China markets oscillated between gains and losses, as investors took in the new-home price data for China in October. Home prices rose in 27 out of 70 cities, with Shenzhen and Shanghai seeing the biggest percentage change year-on-year.