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European markets close lower as Trump-Kim meet in Vietnam; Metro Bank down 26%

Key Points
  • Household goods were among the worst performers, on the back of earnings.
  • Air France-KLM tumbled following news that the Dutch government is seeking a higher stake of the company.
  • President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in the Vietnam capital of Hanoi.

European stocks traded in the red during Wednesday's session, as investors digested the latest political and economic news from around the world.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally down 0.38 percent by the late afternoon with all but three sectors in negative territory.

Air France-KLM tumbled 10 percent Wednesday following news that the Dutch government is seeking a higher stake of the company. There are fears that as a result the company's decision-making process will be slower.

Furthermore, the British bank Metro fell to the bottom of the index, down by more than 26 percent. This was after revealing plans for a £350 million ($463 million) shareholder cash call.

Ocado shares were up by 3 percent, after announcing a joint venture with retailer Marks & Spencer. However M&S saw its own stock price dip more than 12.6 percent.

Household goods were among the worst performers, on the back of earnings. Shares of Beiersdorf fell 9.5 percent, after the Nivea maker cut its profit outlook.

Overall, investors are paying close attention to an upcoming meeting between the leaders of North Korea and the U.S.

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in the Vietnam capital of Hanoi on Wednesday, with the summit looking to work on relations between the two nations, along with the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Ahead of the two leaders meeting, Trump tweeted that North Korea could be as "thriving" as Vietnam if it was denuclearized, adding that the potential is "awesome."

A longer meeting between the pair is scheduled for Thursday.

VIDEO1:4601:46
What to expect from Trump's meeting with Kim Jong Un

Investors will also be keeping an eye for any developments surrounding a truce between China and U.S., in regards to trade. Trump has said that he'd postpone an early March deadline that would have instigated fresh trade tariffs on China.

Elsewhere, markets around the globe are reacting to the latest remarks from the chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve. On Tuesday, Jerome Powell warned of potential slower growth ahead, despite the current robustness of the U.S. economy. Powell added that the U.S. central bank was prepared to adjust policy if warranted.

The lawyer Michael Cohen delivered a slew of scathing accusations against his former boss, President Donald Trump, in public testimony before Congress on Wednesday.

Cohen, who is heading to prison for lying to Congress, then attempted to persuade lawmakers that he's telling the truth.

Brexit continues to be front and center for market watchers in Europe. In the latest surrounding the topic, British Prime Minister Theresa May offered lawmakers the opportunity to vote on a no-deal Brexit or to postpone the U.K.'s impending departure from the European Union, if her proposal isn't accepted. These votes would be scheduled to take place in two weeks.