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European Stocks Close 1.7% Lower After Fed Minutes Reveal Talks on Tapering; Adyen Up 5%

Ting Shen | Xinhua via Getty Images
  • The CAC 40 in France was down 2.4%, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was off by 1.6%.
  • The Fed discussed starting to remove some monetary stimulus before the end of the year.
  • Dutch payments firm Adyen climbed 5.3% after reporting better-than-expected earnings.

LONDON — European markets closed lower on Thursday as investors digested the latest Federal Reserve minutes.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session down 1.6% provisionally, with all sectors in the red apart from utilities. Miners and retailers led the sectoral losses.

The CAC 40 in France was down 2.4%, while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. was off by 1.7%. Germany's Xetra DAX was 1.7% lower.

Looking at individual stocks, Gn Store Nord fell 12.3% after reporting its second-quarter results. Mining firms Anglo American and Antofagasta and luxury brands such as Kering were also among the top losers.

Toward the top of the benchmark, Dutch payments firm Adyen rose 5.3% after reporting better-than-expected earnings.

The broad move lower came after shares in Asia-Pacific also fell, with Chinese tech stocks slipping again as regulatory fears continue to weigh on investor sentiment.

Fed minutes

Markets experienced a sell-off stateside on Wednesday following minutes from the last Fed meeting, which took place in July.

The central bank discussed starting to remove some of the monetary stimulus, likely before the end of the year as the U.S. economy gathers momentum. However, Fed officials reiterated that tapering would not necessarily mean an imminent rate increase.

Major U.S. stock averages then retreated Thursday too as concern grew that the Federal Reserve could remove stimulus this year, slowing an economy hurt by the spread of the Covid delta variant.

Goldman's latest acquisition

In the corporate world, Comcast and ViacomCBS announced a deal to launch a European streaming service, SkyShowtime, thus increasing competition with Netflix and others.

Separately, Goldman Sachs announced on Thursday that it will buy the asset management arm of Dutch insurer NN Group. The deal totals 1.7 billion euros ($1.98 billion) and represents the biggest acquisition since David Solomon took the reigns of the U.S. investment bank.

David Knibbe, CEO of NN Group, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" that he was pleased with the transaction.

"We believe [the deal] will broaden all the custom propositions that we offer to our customers," he said.

"There will also be a European hub, so that means there's also a future for colleagues from NNIP; we will get more access to broaden distribution, so that can also help to build scale, and obviously it is an attractive deal for shareholders with a 1.7 billion [euros] income when we close the deal."

Disclosure: Comcast owns CNBC's parent NBCUniversal and Sky.

- CNBC's Ryan Browne contributed to this report.

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