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European Markets Drop On U.K. Political Concerns

The European markets ended the first session of the new trading week in the red. The markets declined throughout the first half of the day, but pared their losses slightly in the afternoon, after markets on Wall Street staged a recovery.
Concerns over the U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's leadership emerged after a media report revealed that Conservative party lawmakers have agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in the P.M.

The Sunday Times newspaper reported that as many as 40 Tory MPs were backing a motion of "no confidence" against the P.M., criticizing for her handling of EU negotiations.

This fell short of 48 MPs required to force a leadership challenge and remove May from office.

Separately, a leak letter from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Environment Secretary Michael Gove May showed that the pair complained to the Prime Minister regarding "insufficient energy" on Brexit in some parts of the government and urged for a hard Brexit approach.

"If we are to counter those who wish to frustrate that end, there are ways of underlining your resolve," Johnson and Gove wrote in the letter.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index weakened by 0.59 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks decreased 0.52 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 0.35 percent.

The DAX of Germany dropped 0.40 percent and the CAC 40 of France fell 0.73 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 0.24 percent, but the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.31 percent.

In Frankfurt, Deutsche Post rose 0.61 percent amid reports that the logistics group aims to give its in-house StreetScooter electric delivery vehicles more autonomy.

In Paris, utility EDF plunged 10.39 percent after cutting its profit forecast for next year.

In London, Dignity tumbled 7.86 percent after the funeral operator warned of rising costs amid intense competition.

Coca Cola HBC lost 4.41 percent after a stock rating downgrade by research analysts at J P Morgan Chase & Co.

Power generation and temperature control rental provider Aggreko rallied 1.84 percent after appointing Heath Drewett as its chief financial officer.

Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey dipped 0.05 percent after reporting strong sales for the second half of 2017.

Novartis rose 1.10 percent in Zurich after announcing collaboration with Homology Medicines to develop therapies for genetic blood and eye diseases.

Sonova sank 2.43 percent after its first half sales came in below expectations.

Telecommunications firm Telecom Italia lost 3.37 percent in Milan after reporting a drop in Q3 profit, hit by higher operating expenses.

Germany's wholesale price inflation eased to a 3-month low in October, data from Destatis revealed Monday. Wholesale prices climbed 3 percent year-on-year in October, slower than the 3.4 percent increase seen in September. This was the weakest growth since July, when prices gained 2.2 percent.

The average asking price for a house in the United Kingdom was down 0.8 percent on month in November, property tracking website Rightmove said on Monday. That followed the 1.1 percent increase in October.

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