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European stocks close lower as Turkey crisis weighs on sentiment, basic resources down 4.2%

Key Points
  • All major bourses in Europe closed around 1.5 percent lower.
  • The basic resources sector was the poorest performing, tanking to close 4.2 percent down.
  • British insurer Admiral and Danish wind turbine maker Vestas ended trade near the top of the Stoxx 600, both up by approximately 3 percent on earnings news.

Shares in Europe closed lower on Wednesday afternoon as concerns over the Turkish currency crisis continued to impact investors' appetite.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped throughout the day to finish trade 1.5 percent below the flat line. The region's major bourses were around 1.5 percent lower. Trading flows were sluggish with a number of European markets closed due to a public holiday, including Italy, Greece and Austria.

Europe's basic resources tanked to close 4.1 percent down. Stock prices have taken a hit as gold fell to a more than 18-month low Wednesday while the U.S. dollar has pushed towards its highest in over a year. This is down to the Turkish lira's recent free-fall sparking broader currency market contagion. The ongoing saga of import tariffs being implemented by the world's major economies has also hit investor sentiment.

In Turkey, President Recep Erdogan has opted to impose higher tariffs on certain U.S. imports including alcohol, cars and rice. This is in retaliation to President Donald Trump's hiking of steel and aluminium tariffs on Ankara last Friday. The Turkish lira, which has dropping for months, rose off record lows against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday.

Despite the negative sentiment, there were some outperformers on the European benchmark.

British insurer Admiral and Danish wind turbine maker Vestas ended trade near the top of the Stoxx 600, both up by approximately 3 percent on earnings news. Admiral posted a 9 percent rise in its pre-tax profit for the first six months of this year. Vestas reported a profit beat for the second quarter of the year and announcing a new share buyback program.

Advertising agency WPP shares were also on the rise, finishing up by 1.8 percent. Investors were still digesting Monday's news that the advertising agency is due to quit London as its main headquarter. Meanwhile, asset manager Amundi closed 1.1 percent higher after Morgan Stanley said the company was among its top picks.

But, several of Europe's top performing stocks had pared gains made earlier in the session.

Royal Bank of Scotland ended trade just over 1 percent lower. The U.K.'s part state-owned lender has announced that it will pay $4.9 billion to settle a U.S. investigation into misconduct during the last financial crisis.

Dow drops 300 points as Turkey crisis weighs

U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday as lingering concerns over Turkey's financial crisis weighed on investor sentiment. Declines in tech shares and banks also pressured the broader indexes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 300 points, while the declined 1.2 percent. The Nasdaq Composite pulled back 1.7 percent. The Dow and Nasdaq both broke below their 50-day moving averages, while the S&P 500 was approaching it.