Markets : Europe closes lower; Greece, oil, yuan in focus
August 16, 2015, 7:49 am   


European equities closed flat to lower on Friday, as investors eyed a key European meeting on Greece`s hoped-for third bailout program.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed flat on the day on Friday and down 2.6 percent on the week.

Most major country bourses closed lower on both the day and the week. The U.K.`s benchmark FTSE 100 ended provisionally down 0.1 percent on the day, with Germany`s DAX down 0.2 percent and the French CAC down 0.5 percent.

The Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers met on Friday to discuss a prospective third bailout deal for Greece. The ministers will decide whether to grant the deal, or to delay it due to German wariness over the details.

 The country could get a bridge loan if euro zone finance ministers decide to delay, according to German newspaper Bild, which cited a European Commission proposal.

Meanwhile, data released earlier on Friday showed the euro zone economy grew by 0.3 percent in the second quarter on the previous three months, narrowly missing analysts` forecasts.

Investors in Europe also continued to watch the People`s Bank of China for signs that it plans to regularly depreciate the yuan. On Friday, it opted to set the midpoint rate for the yuan at 6.3975, slightly lower than the previous day`s close of 6.3990.

Oil`s slippery slope

Shares of oil and gas companies continued to underperform on Friday, with Brent crude trading around $49 per barrel and U.S. crude at $42.50 around the stock market close.

Norwegian oil and gas firm, Statoil, closed down 3.2 percent and oil services company, Subsea 7, ended down 3.8 percent.



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