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European Stocks Extend Losses as Supermarket Operators, Property Developers Drag FTSE 100 Lower

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European equity benchmarks were edging lower on the penultimate trading day of the week with supermarket chains and property development companies weighing on London's benchmark index after a spate of mixed trading reports.

In economic news, fresh data showed that seasonally-adjusted industrial production was up by 1.0% month-on-month in November in the Eurozone, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU). In October, month-on-month industrial production had risen by 0.4%.

In equities news, department store and grocer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) was leading the decliners on London's benchmark FTSE 100 Index, down by 5.7% after the company said that group revenue fell by 0.1% in the third quarter after a weak clothing market in October weighed despite better Christmas trading in both its business segments.

Tesco (TSCO.L) was close behind, with shares down by 3.6% despite the grocer posting 2.3% growth in its like-for-like sales in the third quarter - its eighth consecutive quarter of growth - and saying that it is confident in its outlook for the full year. Property development company Barratt Developments (BDEV.L) was 2.6% lower after saying that its sales rate in its fiscal first half was unchanged from the prior-year period despite total completions including joint ventures rising to 7,324 from 7,180 in the prior-year period. Shares in Persimmon (PSN.L), another property development company, were 1.8% lower.

On Frankfurt's DAX, technology major SAP (SAP.DE) was leading the decliners, down by 1.6% at the time of writing, followed by Deutsche Bank (DB1.SG), down by 1.4% and exchange operator Deutsche Boerse (DB1.SG), 1.1% lower. Airline operator Lufthansa (LHA.DE) was down by 1.0% despite saying on Wednesday that its sales had increased by 15.9% in December and the number of passengers had risen by 19.9% when compared to the same month in the prior year.

And, on Paris' CAC-40, Sodexo (SW.PA), a food services and facilities management company, was leading the decliners, down by 3.8% after posting a 2.6% year-on-year drop in its fiscal first quarter revenue, followed by media company Vivendi (VIV.PA) , 1.4% lower and Air Liquide (AI.PA), a supplier of industrial gases, 1.3% lower.

Oil futures prices were extending gains from Wednesday after a report from the Energy Information Administration ( EIA ) showed an eighth consecutive week in which US stockpiles of the hydrocarbon commodity have fallen. West Texas Intermediate ( WTI ) crude oil futures, the main US benchmark, was 0.6% higher at $63.98 per barrel in recent trade while Brent crude, the international gauge, was 0.4% higher at $69.45 per barrel at the time of writing. WTI and Brent rose by 0.8% and 0.4% on Wednesday after EIA data showed that US stockpiles of crude oil fell by 4.9 million barrels last week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index was 0.17% lower, London's FTSE 100 Index was down by 0.11%, Frankfurt's DAX was down by 0.25% and Paris' CAC-40 was 0.14% lower at the time of writing.

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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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