Europe Markets

Europe stocks close lower after Trump remarks; Fiat crashes 16%

European bourses closed lower on Thursday as investors focused on fresh corporate reports and digested the latest remarks by President-elect Donald Trump.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended 0.65 percent lower with most sectors moving south. The FTSE 100 reached yet another record high on Thursday, climbing 0.03 percent higher. The autos sector was the worst performer on Thursday, falling more than 2.8 percent. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has accused Fiat of using "hidden software" that appeared to make some of its vehicles perform differently in testing than on-road use, according to a Reuters report. The Italian car manufacturers' shares dramatically fell as much as 20 percent before paring some losses by the close. Fiat said "it believes that its emission control systems meet the applicable requirements".

Health care stocks dipped for the second consecutive session, closing more than 1.9 percent down. On Wednesday, Trump had said the pharmaceutical industry was "getting away with murder" and vowed to clamp down on drug pricing.

Telecoms were down by 0.4 percent on Thursday. Reuters reported that Fininvest, shareholder of Mediaset, hadn't received any proposal from the French media group Vivendi to resolve a dispute between the firms. In December, the French media giant raised its stake in Mediaset to 28.8 percent.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average continued lower leaving investors hoping for the blue-chips index to soar above the 20,000 mark requiring a remarkable turnaround.

Ubi Banca storms higher

Looking at specific stocks, Ubi Banca closed up by more than 9.1 percent, after announcing a plan to buy three small Italian banks.

Shares of the luxury goods company Richemont were also near the top of the European index, jumping more than 8.6 percent, after reporting sales of 3.09 billion euros in the last quarter of 2016.

Marks & Spencer ended up by more than 1.3 percent after keeping its fiscal-year guidance unchanged on Thursday and announcing a better-than-expected performance in both clothing and home-product sales for its third quarter.

Tesco, the biggest U.K. supermarket, said that underlying sales rose 0.7 percent in the Christmas period. However, its shares were down by 1.3 percent.

Barratt, the biggest housebuilder in the U.K., said Thursday that it might build fewer homes this fiscal year, Reuters reported. The company expects its pre-tax profit to go up by 7 percent to 315 billion pounds ($385 million) in the last six months of 2016. Its shares were down by 0.5 percent.

In terms of data, the European Central Bank released its latest monetary policy meeting accounts which showed some divergent opinions withing the bank's board. As a result, the euro hit a one-month high.

In France, the socialist party is hosting the first debate for the primaries ahead of presidential elections later this year.

Data released Thursday morning showed industrial production figures moving higher in November across the euro zone. They were up by 1.5 percent on the month and 3.2 percent on the year, Reuters reported.

Elsewhere, oil prices rose for the second consecutive session boosted by news key OPEC producers were to tackle global supply by cutting production as promised.

Brent crude traded at around $56.01 a barrel on Thursday shortly after the European close, up 0.93 percent, while U.S. crude was around $53.04 a barrel, up 0.81 percent.

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