Europe ends under pressure as oil tumbles 3%; Yellen speech eyed

European markets closed under slight pressure on Monday as investors failed to shake off the sharp declines seen in both oil prices and mining stocks.

The pan-European STOXX 600 fluctuated between gains and losses throughout trading, settling after the close to finish up 0.09 percent. Sectors pointed in different directions.

On the bourses front, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.44 percent, while Germany's DAX slipped 0.47 percent. Meanwhile, France's CAC 40 returned to the red by the close, ending 0.24 percent down.

The sentiment in European indexes had been partly shifted by trade seen in the U.S., where stocks fell back into the red around Europe's close.

Crude falls 3% at Europe's close


Crude futures fell as much as 3 percent during London's afternoon trading, as investors grew concerned over the supply glut in the market. China's substantial increase in fuel exports during July, a rising U.S. oil rig count, and the prospect for more crude shipments seen out of Nigeria and Iraq were some of the factors seen influencing sentiment, according to Reuters.

Brent and U.S. WTI were off 3 percent each at Europe's close, last standing around $49.39 and $47.09 respectively. The energy sector closed down 0.67 percent.

Meanwhile, Europe's worst performing sector was basic resources, off 1.62 percent, as metal prices posted sharp losses, on the back of a stronger dollar. Precious metals firm, Fresnillo sank 5.9 percent as spot silver fell sharply, while Glencore, Anglo American and Antofagasta all finished trade in negative territory.

ArcelorMittal ended 2.1 percent down, after its South African unit agreed to pay a 1.5 billion rand ($110 million) fine for colluding to fix steel prices, Reuters reported.

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Fed ahead

Aside from commodities, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to be a key area of focus for investors worldwide this week, as the central bank is set to meet later on this week at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's annual economic policy symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

During the symposium, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will speak on Friday, with investors watching closely for comments on the U.S. economy and for any indications of when the Fed may raise rates.

Several Fed officials have commented on the timing of a rate hike, while Fed Vice-Chairman Stanley Fischer said on Sunday that the U.S. central bank was near to hitting its targets for full employment and 2 percent inflation.

ChemChina gets Syngenta clearance

Looking at individual stocks, the U.S.-based Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) cleared ChemChina's $43 billion takeover of Swiss agrochemical group Syngenta. The news sent Syngenta shares to the top of the STOXX 600, ending 10.6 percent up.

Shares of French retail giant Carrefour jumped 2.7 percent after Bernstein raised its price target and outlook on the stock. Meanwhile, Kingspan Group rose 5.8 percent, after publishing better-than-expected results for its first half of 2016.

Sweden's Getinge sank close to 4 percent, after the health care group's board of directors decided to replace Alex Myers, its president and CEO. Joacim Lindoff has been appointed the firm's acting president and CEO.

While miners dominated the bottom of the STOXX 600, U.K. housebuilders were higher during trade with Taylor Wimpey, Bovis Homes, Bellway and Persimmon all closing above 2.5 percent each.

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