Euro rises, grabs hold of $1.1800
European stocks closed lower on Wednesday, as strength in the euro and a drop in commodity shares drew the regional benchmark near a two-month low.
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Equities in Europe fell alongside a slide for U.S. stocks, 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 0.5% to close at 381.96, suffering its lowest close since Sept. 18, FactSet data showed. The loss on Wednesday marked a seventh straight day of declines for the index, its longest losing run since late October/early November last year.
The DAX 30 index flopped down 0.4% to 12,976.37, while France's CAC 40 shed 0.3% to 5,301.25.
The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gave up 0.6% to 7,372.61 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/commodity-stocks-pull-ftse-100-toward-fifth-straight-decline-2017-11-15).
The euro traded as high as $1.1861 during the session, but erased its gain to buy $1.1798 at the European markets closed. The shared currency traded at $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 ended down 1.5%, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Basic Resources Index lost 1.1%.
Oil prices slumped more than 0.7% 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). The losses deepened in the afternoon after data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed domestic crude supplies rose last week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-extends-losses-as-eia-reports-a-second-straight-weekly-rise-in-us-crude-supplies-2017-11-15), going against forecasts that had predicted a decline.
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 0.3%, 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. stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-futures-tumble-more-than-100-points-as-mood-for-risk-sours-2017-11-15), as investors grew concerned about delays to tax reforms from Washington, after Senate Finance Committee unveiled major changes to its tax legislation late Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/here-are-the-major-changes-to-the-senates-tax-bill-2017-11-15), including a repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate and beefing up the child tax credit.
Euro strength was also weighing on the stocks for most of Wednesday's session, with the shared currency aided by a final reading of French inflation that matched expectations by rising 1.1% in October.
The euro pushed past $1.17 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: "European stock markets are lower again as the world-wide decline in equities rumbles on. Adding to the selloff in eurozone stocks is the pop high in the euro. The single currency has had a good run in the past two days on account of the solid growth numbers from Germany yesterday, and the firmer inflation report from France today," 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 2.4% 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 3.1% 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 5.1% 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 12:22 ET (17:22 GMT)