European equities fell deep into negative territory on Wednesday morning as market sentiment was hit by weaker oil prices.
Basic resources were the top losers in morning deals, impacted by lower-than-expected retail sales and industrial production figures on Tuesday. Metal prices dropped on Wednesday, which added extra pressure on mining stocks. Glencore, Anglo American and Rio Tinto were all off 2 percent or more each. Copper producer Aurubis fell over 6.5 percent.
The oil and gas sector followed closely behind, down by 1.5 percent on weaker oil prices. Brent and WTI were both off more than 1 percent by 10:50 a.m. London time, trading around $61.45 and $55.05 per barrel respectively. This drop came after a report from the International Energy Agency which projected lower oil demand for this year and the next.
Looking at individual stocks, Barratt Developments fell into the red, despite announcing an increase in total forward sales of 8.4 percent. The U.K. housebuilder also said that it was confident of delivering a good operating performance in the 2018 financial year.
The German rubber maker Lanxess fell over 3.5 percent after reporting a third quarter net profit lower than a year ago.
Meanwhile, potash miner K+S sank almost 5 percent, after its operating profit and third quarter revenue failed to meet market expectations.
On the other hand, Airbus was among the top performers up by 2.5 percent after receiving a 430 airplane order from Indigo Partners.
Altice and Leonardo hit the top of the STOXX 600 Wednesday, as both stocks recovered from the lows seen in recent sessions. Bryan Garnier also put a “buy” rating on Altice.
In other corporate news, Volkswagen said that tax authorities and prosecutors raided the offices of the company’s chief financial officer, head of HR, and chairman on Tuesday. Some files and computers were seized, according to Reuters. Shares of the carmaker were lower by more than 1 percent.
In terms of data, consumer prices in France increased 1.2 percent in October on a yearly basis and 0.1 percent on a monthly basis, in line with flash numbers.
Elsewhere, employment in the U.K. fell by the most it has in more than two years during July to September, a sign that a Brexit slowdown could be having an effect on U.K. job creation, Reuters reported.