Europe Markets

Europe ends lower as weak oil prices dent market sentiment; Ericsson tanks 20%

OPEC good on carrots, but lacks sticks: CEO
OPEC good on carrots, but lacks sticks: CEO

European markets finished in negative territory on Wednesday as a renewed decline in oil prices and weakness in the tech sector weighed on sentiment.

Giving up any hope of retaining earlier gains, the pan-European STOXX 600 closed down 0.47 percent provisionally. Most sectors ended in the red. However, basic resources and insurance outperformed.

European markets

The French CAC fell 0.44 percent, while Germany's DAX slipped 0.51 percent. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 tumbled 0.66 percent, while the British pound rebounded during trade, trading at $1.2205 against the U.S. dollar around the market close.

Sterling climbed out of the red on Wednesday after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said she would offer provide lawmakers some scrutiny over the Brexit proceedings and that the country would seek "maximum possible access" to EU's single market, Reuters reported.

Across the Atlantic, the Federal Reserve is back at the front of investors' minds, as the Federal Open Market Committee is set to release its latest minutes from its September meeting.

Due out at 7.00 p.m. UK time (2.00 p.m. ET), investors will be poring over the content to see if there are any indications of when the central bank will raise interest rates, while looking for the institution's opinion on the state of the U.S. economy.

Yet again, crude futures were shaking up sentiment on Wednesday, with prices coming under renewed pressure. Prices were initially higher on Wednesday following record crude imports out of India. However, in afternoon trade, prices fell back into the red.

Brent was last standing around $51.80, while WTI crude hovered around $50.06 per barrel at the market close. On Wednesday, OPEC said in its latest report that oil production rose to its highest in at least eight years during September and that the group had raised its forecast for next year's non-OPEC supply growth.

Meanwhile, basic resources outperformed the broader market, closing up 1.43 percent, as most metal prices posted solid gains. Glencore jumped to the top of the STOXX 600, up 6.44 percent, however most miners either closed slightly higher or lower.

Looking at international markets, in Asia stocks slipped Wednesday, with Samsung shares falling after the firm said it would permanently stop selling its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. In the States, Wall Street was mostly mixed as traders waited for the Fed minutes.

Ericsson tanks over 20%

On the individual stock front, Ericsson was the biggest drag on the STOXX 600, slumping 20.2 percent after the company issued a profit warning.

The news pushed other tech stocks down, including Nokia which fell 5.1 percent and AMS which slipped 3 percent. Overall, the tech sector closed down 2.86 percent.

On the opposite end, Lufthansa jumped over 4 percent after Kepler Cheuvreux raised its price target for the stock. Aegon was one of the best performers, up 4.56 percent, after Macquarie started with an outperform rating on the stock.

Pagegroup jumped over 3 percent after Kepler Cheuvreux, JP Morgan, HSBC and Barclays raised their price target on the recruitment firm.

Shares of jewelry manufacturer Pandora popped 2.64 percent, after the Dutch firm launched itself online in China on the Alibaba Group's platform

Despite saying it expected to open more stores in 2016 and that like-for-like sales were up in particular regions during its third quarter, U.K. listed firm Domino's Pizza fell over 5 percent in European trade.

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