European Equities Close Lower as Crude Oil Rout Drives Bearish Sentiment
European equities closed lower on Thursday as trading sentiment remained bearish amid deeply depressed oil prices with financial stocks sliding sharply.
Crude oil futures for delivery in March traded below $27 per barrel for the majority of the trading session, marking the second time this year that crude has traded around this level. Prior to 2016, the last time that crude oil futures traded below $27 per barrel was in September 2003.
In equities, financial services providers dominated the biggest decliners on the FTSE 100 Index, with Prudential, Aberdeen Asset Management and Barclays down by 7.4%, 7.4% and 7.0% lower, respectively.
On Frankfurt's DAX, banks also dominated the decliners with Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank and insurer Allianz down by 6.6%, 6.1% and 5.3%, respectively.
And, on the CAC-40, financial services provider Societe Generale was 12.6% lower, insurer Axa was down 7.0% while wine and spirits producer Pernod Ricard and LEGRAND, a manufacturer of products for electrical installations, were 6.7% and 6.4% lower, respectively.
The FTSE 100 closed 2.39% lower, the DAX closed down 2.93% and the CAC-40 was 4.05% lower.
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