Declining oil prices caused European stocks to open lower on Wednesday, as trading remained light going into the New Year holiday.
In morning trading, France’s CAC 40 tumbled 0.43%, EURO STOXX 50 slipped 0.21%, and Germany’s DAX 30 plunged 0.50%.
Investors turned their focus to oil as concerns over the ongoing oil supply glut and weakening demand continue to grow.
Crude oil for February delivery slid 1.62% to $37.26 during early morning trade in Europe, falling close to its 11-year low of $35.98 reached on December 22.
Financial stocks also took a hit. In France, Societe Generale (PA: SOGN) slipped 0.55%, and BNP Paribas (PA: BNPP) lost 0.36%. Commerzbank (DE: CBKG) and Deutsche Bank (DE: DBKGn) in Germany declined 0.50% and 0.29% respectively.
In Italy, Intesa Sanpaolo (M: ISP) fell 0.45%, while Unicredit (MI: CRDI) fell 0.38%. Spain’s BBVA (MC: BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC: SAN) tumbled 0.67% and 0.48% respectively.
Over in London, Barclays (L: BARC) lost 0.70%, and Lloyds Banking (L: LLOY) retreated 0.50%. The Royal Bank of Scotland (L: RBS) tumbled 1.34%, while HSBC Holdings (L: HSBA) suffered a 1.76% loss.
Energy stocks further added to losses, with Italy’s ENI (MI: ENI) falling 0.61% and France’s Total SA (PA: TOTF) declining 0.69%.
The FTSE 100 in London slipped 0.59%, as losses in the mining sector weighed on the commodity-heavy index. Glencore (L: GLEN) slid 1.34%, Rio Tinto (L: RIO) tumbled 1.47%, and Bhp Billiton (L: BLT) shed 1.42%.