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European Stocks Close Lower On China Unrest, Inflation Concerns

European stocks closed lower on Monday as worries about growing unrest in China over strict Covid curbs rendered the mood bearish.

Several areas across China witnessed protests, with some demonstrators even calling for the resignation of Xi Jinping, as surging Covid cases prompted authorities to extend local lockdowns.

Worries about inflation hurt as well. Euro zone inflation has not peaked and the risk is that it will turn out even higher than currently expected, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Monday.

"We do not see the components or the direction that would lead me to believe that we've reached peak inflation and that it's going to decline in short order," Lagarde told the European Parliament.

"Whenever I ask my top-notch economists at the ECB ... about the risk, the answer that I get at the moment is (that) risk is to the upside, without qualifying the upside."

The pan European Stoxx 600 declined 0.65%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended 0.17% down, Germany's DAX shed 1.09% and France's CAC 40 drifted down 0.7%, while Switzerland's SMI edged down 0.05%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Sweden ended with sharp to moderate losses.

Denmark and Turkiye closed higher, while Spain ended flat.

In the UK market, Admiral Group, Persimmon, Melrose Industries, Ocado Group, Rolls-Royce Holdings, BT Group and ICP lost 2.4 to 4.4%.

Standard Chartered, Prudential, Barratt Developments, Aviva, Severn Trent, Kingfisher and Fresnillo also declined sharply.

Pershing Square Holdings, Flutter Entertainment, Reckitt Benckiser, Pearson and Unilever gained 1 to 1.5%.

In the French market, Airbus Group ended nearly 6% down over fears it would have to delay the delivery schedules due to supply disruptions.

Saint Gobain, STMicroElectronics and Dassault Systemes lost 2 to 2.2%.

Safran, TotalEngines, ArcelorMittal, Veolia, Unibail Rodamco, Renault and Credit Agricole also ended notably lower.

Teleperformance, Hermes International, L'Oreal, Essilor, Sanofi and Kering closed higher.

In the German market, Brenntag plunged nearly 9% after the company confirmed that it had held preliminary takeover talks with U.S. rival Univar Solutions.

Infineon Technologies, HelloFresh, Puma, Adidas, Deutsche Bank, Sartorius, Munich RE, Daimler, Vonovia, BASF and Covestro lost 1 to 3%.

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