European stocks dragged down by oil shares for third session

A third day of declines was in store for European stocks Thursday, as the energy sector grappled with the slide in oil prices.

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, was down 0.5% at 386.47, led by oil and gas, telecom and financial shares. The health care sector, however, was up and the tech group was printing a small rise.

The pan-European benchmark on Wednesday lost 0.2%.

Crumble in crude: The direction of oil prices was holding sway over the direction of equity trade Thursday as oil prices US:CLN7 LCOQ7, pulled back, stuck in a bear market and trading at 10-month lows.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Oil and Gas Index SXEP, flopped down 1.5%, on course for a nearly 4% drop over the last three sessions.

Crude prices have tumbled on worries about persistent oversupply in the global oil market. The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday said weekly domestic production climbed by 20,000 barrels to 9.35 million barrels a day.

Among European oil producers, Tullow Oil PLC TLW, gave up 3.4%, trading at the bottom of the Stoxx 600, and France’s Total SA FP, was pushed 1.7% lower.

Norwegian oil services company Subsea 7 SA SUBC, sank 5% following a downgrade to equal weight at Morgan Stanley, and AMEC Foster Wheeler PLC AMFW, shed 2.8%.

Indexes: In London, the FTSE 100 UKX, which is heavily weighed by oil and mining shares, fell 0.5% to 7,413.61. France’s CAC 40 index PX1, fell 0.5% to 5,248.18

Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, was off 0.3% at 12,739.89, but is less exposed to commodity stocks compared with other benchmarks.

The euro EURUSD, fetched $1.1163, not far off from $1.1170 late Wednesday in New York.

Brexit watch: U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday evening is expected to present Britain’s plans for European Union citizens living in the U.K. as part of Brexit negotiations.

May’s Conservative Party is still trying to work out a policy-support deal with the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland, after losing its parliamentary majority in this month’s general election. U.K. Treasury chief Philip Hammond said on BBC Radio he was confident an agreement will be made.

Data: Confidence in France’s manufacturing sector declined slightly in June, as business leaders were less bullish about their own production levels, said statistics agency Insee.

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