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Natural Resources, Automotive Stocks Lead European Equity Benchmarks Lower

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Last updated: 05/18/2017 13:00:20

01:00 PM EDT, 05/18/2017 (MT Newswires) -- The broad-based major European indices closed lower in Thursday's trading session, as commodities-related stocks, and automotive firms burdened the markets.

In economic news, in the U.K., the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 2.3% in April, compared with March, and by 4.0% compared with April of 2016, reports the Office for National Statistics (ONS). According to the ONS, the underlying pattern showed a slight increase in April, following a short period of contraction, increasing by 0.3%. It also said that anecdotal evidence from retailers suggested that good weather contributed to growth.

In Germany, turnover in the German accommodation and food service activities increased 3.1% in real terms, and 5.0% in nominal terms in March, compared with the same month last year, reported the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Compared with the same period in 2016, turnover in the German accommodation and food service activities increased 0.1% in real terms, and increased 2.0% in nominal terms in the first three months of 2017.

And in France, the average unemployment rate in metropolitan France and the overseas departments (excluding Mayotte) stood at 9.6% of active population in Q1, after reporting 10.0% in Q4 of 2016, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). Among the unemployed, 1.2 million were seeking a job for at least one year, said INSEE. The long-term unemployment rate stood at 4.1% of active population in Q1 2017, and it decreased by 0.1 percentage points compared to Q4 2016, and by 0.2 percentage points over the year-ago period.

In equities, oil company Royal Dutch Shell led the FTSE lower in London, as it's B and A shares fell 3.5% and 4% each, followed by mining company Randgold Resources, which dropped 2.6%. Consumer finance firm Provident Financial, packaging and paper company Mondi, and real estate investment trust Land Securities Group, lost 2.5%, 2.3%, and 2.2% respectively.

In Frankfurt, stock market operator Deutsche Boerse and pharmaceutical firm Merck led the DAX lower, falling 3.9% ad 2.6% each, followed by airline operator Deutsche Lufthansa, which was off 1.8%. automobile manufacturers Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler lost 1.6%, 1.4%, and 0.8% respectively.

And in Paris, steel producer ArcelorMittal and food company Danone led the CAC into negative territory, falling 2.9% and 2.8% each, followed by supermarket operator Carrefour, which lost 2.1%. Automakers Peugeot and Renault dropped 1.9% and 0.9%, while tire maker Michelin moved 1.2% lower. Industrial group Bouygues was off 1.9%.

The FTSE fell 0.89%, the DAX lost 0.33%, and the CAC-40 dropped 0.53%.

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