EUROPE MARKETS: Commodity Rout Drives European Stocks Toward 7th Straight Loss

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Euro rises, grabs hold of $1.1800

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European stocks struggled Wednesday, on track for their seventh losing session in a row, as strength in the euro and a drop in commodity shares drew the regional benchmark near a two-month low.

Equities in Europe fell alongside a slide for U.S. stock futures, pulled lower in part by jitters over the prospects of success for the U.S. tax overhaul in Washington.

What markets are doing: The Stoxx Europe 600 stumbled 0.8% to 380.86, on course for its lowest close since Sept. 15, FactSet data showed. Only the telecommunications sector was higher. The basic materials, tech and oil and gas groups fell the most. On Tuesday, the index fell 0.6%. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-face-6th-day-of-losses-as-euro-marches-higher-2017-11-14)

The DAX 30 index flopped down 1% to 12,909.08, while France's CAC 40 shed 0.4% to 5,294.59.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gave up 0.4% to 7,388.80, and Spain's IBEX fell 0.6% to 9,935.20.

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The euro traded at $1.1838, rising from $1.1799 late Tuesday in New York.

Commodities rout: Prices for oil and most metals were under pressure, which in turn hurt shares of energy producers and mining companies. The Stoxx Europe 600 Oil & Gas Index was down 1.3%, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Basic Resources Index tumbled 2.4%.

Oil prices slumped 1% Wednesday, extending losses logged Tuesday after the American Petroleum Institute posted an unexpected rise in weekly U.S. inventories for both crude oil and gasoline (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/api-data-reportedly-shows-an-unexpected-jump-in-us-crude-supplies-2017-11-14).

Check out:To make money in oil, listen to prices more than news (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/to-make-money-in-oil-listen-to-prices-more-than-news-2017-11-14)

Copper prices gave up 0.7%, building on Tuesday's fall. That move came after disappointing Chinese data on industrial output (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-industrial-output-slows-in-oct-as-expected-2017-11-13) and housing sales (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-housing-sales-slow-year-over-year-in-october-2017-11-13) prompted concerns about slowing growth the world's second-largest economy.

What's driving markets: European stocks were tracking sharp losses for U.S. stock futures, as Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 100 points. Investors are concerned about delays to tax reforms from Washington, after a report that Republican senators are strongly considering adding a repeal of Obamacare's individual insurance mandate (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/senate-republicans-strongly-consider-adding-obamacare-mandate-repeal-to-tax-bill-report-2017-11-14) to a new version of their tax bill.

The euro continued to step higher against the dollar and most other rivals, aided by a final reading of French inflation that matched expectations by rising 1.1% in October.

The shared currency pushed past $1.1700 in the prior session after better-than-expected economic growth figures from Germany and Italy for the third quarter. Euro strength puts pressure on shares of European exporters, as it makes their products more expensive for holders of other currencies to purchase.

Read:The strong euro is just a quarter of the battle for Italy in 2018 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-strong-euro-is-just-a-quarter-of-the-battle-for-italy-in-2018-2017-11-13)

What strategists are saying: "Like yesterday, the firmer euro is adding to the selling pressure on eurozone equity markets," said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

"Traders are concerned that China's economy is slowing down, and will therefore won't be as mineral hungry as they once were. This is putting pressure mining companies like Anglo American (AAL.LN) , Rio Tinto (RIO) , BHP Billiton (BLT.LN) and Vedanta Resources (VED.LN) ," said Madden in his note.

Stock movers: Airbus SE (AIR.FR) climbed 2.6% after the company landed one of the largest aircraft deals on record (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/airbus-lands-495-billion-jetliner-order-in-us-2017-11-15), with U.S. private equity group Indigo Partners LLC agreeing to pay roughly $49.5 billion for a fleet of Jetliners.

Lanxess AG (LXS.XE) shed 3.4% after the German specialty chemicals company said third-quarter net profit fell (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lanxess-profit-falls-on-one-off-charge-sales-rise-2017-11-15) to 55 million euros on a 25% rise in sales to EUR2.40 billion. According to a FactSet consensus forecast, the company was expected to post sales of EUR2.42 billion.

K+S AG (SDF.XE) fell 4.8% even as the German chemical company said third-quarter revenue and earnings rose. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ks-earnings-grow-on-higher-fertilizer-prices-2017-11-15)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 15, 2017 06:18 ET (11:18 GMT)