Europe Markets

Europe closes lower as oil prices slip 2%; Barclays charged with fraud; Domino's falls 6.4%


European bourses closed lower on Tuesday as oil prices slipped to seven-month lows and investors digested comments concerning the U.K.'s interest rates from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

The pan-European STOXX 600 pared almost all of its gains from earlier in the session, closing 0.58 percent lower on Tuesday afternoon. All major bourses and almost all sectors - bar food and beverages - ended the day in negative territory.

Sterling hit a one-week low of $1.2660 early Tuesday after the Bank of England's Mark Carney said now was not the time to raise rates. The comments dashed the hopes of some investors who had been expecting the U.K.'s central bank to adopt a more hawkish tone. The losses continued further into the afternoon, causing the British currency to close at $1.2620, paring all gains seen on Monday when Brexit talks officially commenced.

Oil prices dipped to their weakest level since last November on Tuesday after news of increases in supply, a trend which continues to undermine OPEC's efforts to support the market through reduced output. Brent crude traded $45.72 a barrel in afternoon deals, down 2.47 percent, while U.S. crude was around $42.71 a barrel, down 2.92 percent.

The oil and gas sector slumped more than 2 percent on the news, with Tullow Oil sliding 4.8 percent. Basic resources, too, slipped almost 3 percent, with Antofagasta and Glencore among the biggest losers.

Media stocks were among the top performers in early deals, though fell flat along with other sectors by the close of play. German broadcaster proSiebanSat.1 announced plans to sell Etraveli to CVC Capital Partners on Tuesday morning. Its shares were nearly 2 percent higher on the news.

Meanwhile, German lighting company Osram soared to the top of the benchmark after Bankhaus Lampe raised its rating on the firm to "buy" from "hold", according to a Reuters report. Shares spiked by almost 4 percent in early afternoon deals.

Pizza delivery business Domino's fell to the bottom of the benchmark Tuesday afternoon after Investec lowered its outlook for the stock to a "sell" rating, citing challenges ahead from discounters and market newcomers. The stock was down 6.4 percent.

Barclays' shares were under pressure on Tuesday following news that the bank and four former executives had been charged with fraud over fundraising in Qatar.

U.S. markets meanwhile were lower as investors turned their attention to tax reform announcements.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) released its latest economic forecast, saying it expected the U.K. to see a "steady but subdued economic growth" over the next few years.

—Reuters contributed to this report.

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