European Equity Benchmarks Close Mixed; Energy Stocks Burden Markets

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The broad-based major European indices closed mixed in Wednesday trading as the London market closed higher, while the continental exchanges ended the day in negative territory.

In economic news, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is planning a high-level cabinet meeting early in September to discuss how to prepare for a possible no-deal Brexit, reports Bloomberg News, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Additionally, it reported that the UK is also forming a working group of senior government officials to figure out how to keep the Irish border free of customs checks and police, even if there's no withdrawal agreement.

Elsewhere in the UK, permanent placements continued to rise sharply in July, alhough the rate of expansion was the weakest seen since last October, according to the IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs. Temp billings also increased sharply as the supply of candidates continues to drop. Recruitment agencies indicated that candidate shortages weighed on permanent staff appointments.

The supply of both permanent and temporary candidates fell sharply in July, despite rates of decline easing to the weakest in three months for both categories. Growth was led by the private sector, with demand for both permanent and temporary workers continuing to rise at rates that outpace those seen in the public sector.

And in Spain, the monthly variation of the industrial production index ( IPI ) for June was -0.6%, after adjusting the seasonal and calendar effects, according to the Spanish Statistical Institute (INE). The annual rate of the IPI stands at 0.5% in the series adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects, and at -2.0% in the original series. Capital goods and intermediate goods had positive monthly rates, while energy, durable consumer goods, consumer goods, and non-durable goods registered negative monthly rates.

In equities, insurance firm Prudential, and investment management company Standard Life Aberdeen led the FTSE higher in London, rising 3.7% and 3.2% respectively, followed by software firm Micro Focus International, which climbed 2.7%. Industrial equipment rental company Ashtead was up 2.6%, while Intertek Group, an inspection, product testing and certification company, and pest control company Rentokil each closed 2.3% higher.

In Frankfurt, electricity and natural gas provider E.ON, and health care company Fresenius led the DAX lower, falling 2.9% and 2.7% respectively, followed by reinusrance company Munich RE, and industrial gases company Linde, which lost 2.1% each. Deutsche Bank dropped 1.5%, while kidney dialysis company Fresenius Medical Care, and electricity and natural gas supplier RWE were off 1.1% and 1%.

In Paris, oilfield services company TechnipFMC led the CAC into negative territory, falling 2.6%, followed by steel and mining company ArcelorMittal, and telecommunications operator Orange, which lost 1.6% and 1.4% respectively. Luxury goods company Louis Vuitton, and natural gas distributor Engie were off 1.3% and 1.2% respectively, while airplane manufacturer Airbus closed 1% lower.

The FTSE rose 0.75%, the DAX lost 0.12%, and the CAC-40 dropped 0.35%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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