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European Equity Benchmarks Close Mixed; Mining Stocks, Banks Move Lower

The broad-based major European indices closed mixed in Monday's trading session, as mining stocks and banks weighed down the markets.

In economic news, the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee (FPC) assessed the outlook for U.K. financial stability by identifying the risks faced by the financial system. It said that there are signs of excessive weight being placed on recent benign conditions as an indicator of future risks.

"This behavior encourages greater risk taking, potentially building up greater vulnerabilities," said the FPC. "In the global economy, risks from indebtedness remain material and geopolitical tensions have risen.

The FPC also said that lenders have been attributing too much of the improvement in consumer credit performance to underlying improvement in credit quality, and too little to the macroeconomic environment. "As a result," said the FPC, "they have been underestimating the losses they could incur in a downturn."

New research shows that the gender pay gap is widening, according to an analysis of managers' salaries conducted by the Chartered Management Institute ( CMI ) and XpertHR. The gender pay gap stands at 26.8%, with male managers on average out-earning female peers by GBP11,606 ($15,653) a year. Previous analyses of the pay gap based on managers' basic salaries had put the gap at 23.1% last year, or GBP8,964.

Under the U.K. government's reporting regulations that took effect in April, employers with 250 or more employees must now publicly disclose the size of their gender pay gap. So far, only 72 out of the 7,850 U.K. companies to which the new law applies have fulfilled their obligations, according to the report.

In Germany, The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported that price-adjusted new orders in the main construction industry in July decreased a seasonally and working-day adjusted 1.1% from June. In building construction and civil and underground engineering, in establishments of enterprises with 20 or more persons, new orders increased by 7.5% in nominal terms compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.

And in Spain, the annual rate of the General Industrial Price Index for August was 3.2%, two tenths higher than in July, according to the Spanish Statistical Institute.

In equities, mining companies burdened the FTSE in London as Antofagasta, Anglo American, and Rio Tinto were down 3.4%, 3.3%, and 1.8% respectively. Mediclinic International led led all decliners, falling 5.1%, followed by investment management firm Standard Life, which dropped 3.8%. Insurance companies RSA Insurance Group, and Prudential closed 2.4% and 1.8% lower respectively.

In Frankfurt, Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank dropped 1.8% and 1.7% respectively, however, the DAX managed to close slightly higher thanks to pharmaceutical firms Merck and Bayer which rose 2% and 1.6%. Personal-care products maker Beiersdorf climbed 1.1%, while telecommunications operator Deutsche Telekom and real estate company Vonovia were up 1% and 0.8%.

And in Paris, banks also weighed down the CAC as Societe Generale, lost 1.6%, while BNP Paribas, and Credit Agricole dropped 1.4% each. Semiconductor company STMicroelectronics led all decliners, shedding 3.8%, followed by construction materials supplier Lafargeholcim, and steel and mining company ArcelorMittal, which were down 3.4% and 2.9% respectively.

The FTSE fell 0.13%, the DAX gained 0.02%, and the CAC-40 lost 0.27%.

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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