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European Markets at Close Report

Aug 25, 2016

European Markets Closing Report, by CNBC on August 25, 2016: Europe Ends Lower as Miners, Health Care Slide; Yellen Speech on Horizon


European stocks posted sharp losses by Thursday's close, weighed down by a fall in miners, autos and health care stocks as investors waited with caution for any news from the Federal Reserve.

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The pan-European STOXX 600 finished down 0.8 percent provisionally, with most sectors closing in the red.
The U.K.'s FTSE 100 slipped 0.25 percent, while the French CAC 40 fell 0.7 percent by the close. A sharp fall in autos stocks added pressure to Germany's DAX, which ended 0.85 percent down.
A lack of major data and earnings in recent days has left tradersfocusing on Janet Yellen's speech on Friday at the annual Jackson Hole meeting of central bankers. The meeting kicks off on Thursday and is set to last until Saturday. The symposium is set to keep the U.S. on its toes, with stocks posting mild gains around Europe's close.
Investors will be watching this meeting closely, to see if the Fed provides any indications as to when it may raise interest rates, while potentially giving a long-term outlook on the U.S. economy.

Miners under pressure

Oil prices fluctuated between gains and losses during trade, as supply glut concerns returned to the market. However, crude futures turned higher in later trade, on expectations that the dollar would weaken ahead of Yellen's speech. Brent and U.S. crude were higher around Europe's close, hovering around $49.60 and $47.10 respectively.
Meanwhile not all commodities were having the best trading day. Shares in Glencore were off over 3.5 percent despite second-quarter earnings on Wednesday which showed narrowing losses and continued efforts to reduce debt. Anglo American and ArcelorMittal were also sharply lower.

Stocks to watch

In corporate news, Lufthansa cabin crew voted in favor of a new pay and pensions deal provided by the German carrier, ending a long-running dispute between the two parties, sending shares were off over 2.5 percent.
Healthcare stocks tanked after Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called the price hikes to the EpiPen medicine, made by Mylan NV, "outrageous." The sector was down almost 2 percent in trade.
Meanwhile, PrudentialCarnivalHammersonDixons Carphone,London Stock Exchange and Taylor Wimpey were all sharply lower, as each London-listed stock went ex-dividend on Thursday. This weighed on the FTSE 100.
Staying with British stocks, U.K. broadcaster ITV announced that it was pulling out of its proposal to acquire Entertainment One Ltd. Shares of the ITV spiked on the news before paring, last standing in the black.
Sunrise Communications and Playtech were some of the STOXX 600's top performers after both delivered positive earnings. U.K.-listedCarillion was the STOXX 600's worst performer however, down 6 percent after JP Morgan cut its rating to "underweight" from "neutral".
And supermarket operator Ahold Delhaize was sharply higher after its second-quarter underlying operating income beat market expectations.