Falling Oil Prices Drag Down European Stocks

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By Jacob Maslow

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%.

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