EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Finish In The Red, Led Lower By Provident's Dive

By Carla Mozee and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Some tech shares also among the notable losers

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European stocks finished lower Tuesday, suffering their third loss in four sessions, with drops for Provident Financial PLC and tech shares weighing on the region's main benchmark.

What markets are doing: The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.2% to close at 386.74, giving back part of Monday's rise of 0.9% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dax-jumps-by-the-most-in-a-month-as-us-tax-progress-revs-up-european-stocks-2017-12-04).

Germany's DAX 30 index edged down by 0.1% to end at 13,048.54 after Monday's surge of 1.5%, its biggest daily rise since Nov. 1.

France's CAC 40 lost 0.3% to finish at 5,375.53, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 shed 0.2% to 7,327.50.

The euro traded at $1.1813, down from $1.1865 late Monday in New York.

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What's moving markets: The tech sector was in focus after the group was beaten down during Monday's U.S. trading session (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-futures-soar-200-points-as-markets-get-ready-to-rally-on-tax-plan-progress-2017-12-04). The selloff in techs stretched into the Asian trading session and into European dealings.

The moves came on the heels of this weekend's passage in the U.S. Senate of the Republican-sponsored proposal for an overhaul in the tax code (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/senate-passes-tax-bill-advancing-top-republican-priority-2017-12-02).

The "U.S. tax-cut inspired sector rotation saw further dumping of technology [stocks]-- profit-taking, less perceived benefit--in favor of more growth sensitive and value names including banks, retail and materials," said analysts at Accendo Markets in note.

The House and Senate now must agree on a single tax bill before it can be sent to President Donald Trump to sign into law.

Read:Chipmaker, software stocks close sharply lower as tax overhaul progresses (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chipmakers-software-developer-stocks-hit-hard-as-tax-reform-progresses-2017-12-04)

Also read:Trump celebrates tax-bill victory as opponents vent their fury via #TaxScamBill (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-celebrates-tax-bill-victory-as-opponents-vent-their-fury-via-taxscambill-2017-12-02)

Investors were also keeping tabs on the Brexit process, with reports U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will return to Brussels to continue talking with European Union officials. On Monday, May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said they hadn't been able to reach an agreement on some Brexit issues.

There had been reports that an agreement on avoiding a post-Brexit hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland was getting close, but the deal was reportedly shot down by Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party. The DUP struck a support deal with May's party earlier this year.

British officials have been working to settle some issues before EU leaders meet at a summit on Dec. 14-15.

Stock movers: In the tech sector, shares of software maker Temenos Group AG (TEMN.EB) fell 1.5%, and chip maker AMS AG (AMS.EB) lost 0.4%. Logitech International SA (LOGI) managed to close 0.3% higher after falling by more than 2% intraday.

Provident Financial PLC shares (PFG.LN) stumbled 10% as the company said the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched an investigation into its car-financing unit, Moneybarn (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fca-probes-provident-car-finance-arm-moneybarn-2017-12-05).

"The FCA only authorized Moneybarn last June, and it's worth noting that this is by no means a large part of Provident's overall business," said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, in a note. "But it adds to the woes for the embattled lender and is another headache for management at the worst time."

Tesco PLC (TSCO.LN) (TSCO.LN) climbed 3% after Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the supermarket chain to buy from sell.

Gerber and Häagen-Dazs parent Nestlé S.A. (NESN.EB) closed 0.4% higher following reports it might buy Atrium Innovations Inc., a Canadian vitamin maker, in a deal valued at $2.3 billion. Nestlé confirmed after the European market's close that it plans to make that acquisition.

Read:Strategists are trumpeting the opportunity in Swiss stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/opportunity-flows-when-it-comes-to-swiss-stocks-2017-12-02)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 05, 2017 12:18 ET (17:18 GMT)