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European markets end mixed as Catalonia crisis drags on sentiment; oil prices gain

Key Points
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed on a relatively flat note, down 0.01 percent, while sectors showed a mixed picture by the market close
  • Spain's IBEX dropped 0.92 percent behind as investors awaited an address from Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont

Europe finished under slight pressure Tuesday, as ongoing political uncertainty in Spain outweighed positive sentiment seen in oil and individual stock news.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed on a relatively flat note, down 0.01 percent; while sectors showed a mixed picture by the market close.

Looking to bourses, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 outperformed most indexes, closing up 0.40 percent. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 fell 0.04 percent while Germany's DAX ticked lower, ending 0.21 percent down.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

Spain's IBEX pared some of its sharp losses by the close, ending 0.92 percent down, as investors were in wait-and-see mode, looking for news of an address from Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont.

Autos was one of the worst-performing sectors throughout Tuesday's trade, with German-listed automakers Volkswagen, Porsche and Daimler all slipping into negative territory. Meantime, household goods held its sectoral gains, jumping 1.08 percent, helped by stocks such as Moncler and LVMH.

Shares in French luxury group, LVMH, climbed 2.24 percent by the close after reporting stronger-than-anticipated revenue growth for the third quarter. The news helped boost other luxury stocks including Christian Dior and Burberry.

Looking at individual firms, Capita announced the appointment of Jonathan Lewis as CEO, with the former boss of Amec Foster Wheeler expected to take up the role at the beginning of December. Shares of the beleaguered British outsourcing giant pared some of its earlier highs, closing up 1.33 percent.

Siemens Gamesa rose 3.4 percent after Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the stock to "buy" from "neutral".

Elsewhere, Dassault Aviation shares tumbled over 2 percent, after the company's CEO said the Falcon 5X business jet's entry into service would be delayed. Meanwhile, Provident Financial slumped 7.87 percent after Vanquis Bank — a subsidiary of the group — was fined £75,000 ($99,000) by the U.K.-based Information Commissioner's Office, over illegal marketing.

In commodities news, crude prices rose sharply following news that OPEC was confident that the market was showing signs of rebalancing. Around the European market close, Brent jumped around $56.70 per barrel in later trade, while U.S. WTI rose to around $50.80. The rise in oil boosted stocks like Tullow Oil, which closed up 4.2 percent.

Catalonia repercussions

Catalan government could trigger snap election: Citi's Schulz

Repercussions following the Catalonia region of Spain's recent bid for secession have been seen from the central government in Madrid. The ruling Spanish Partido Popular warned Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont Monday that he could be thrown in jail should he follow through with an anticipated declaration of independence Tuesday.

Business confidence has been impacted in Spain, with a number of firms moving out of the Catalonia region. In Tuesday's trade, several Spanish banks sank into the red, with Caixabank falling 2.3 percent.

Overseas, U.S. stocks traded relatively mixed around Europe's market close on Tuesday as investors pored over the latest corporate news.