European markets ended the last trading day of August on a down note as oil tumbled.
Oil prices fell on Wednesday after a report from the Energy Information Administration showed crude inventories rose by 2.3 million barrels last week. A rise of 825,000 barrels had been expected by Wall Street. The EIA also showed gasoline stock fell by 691,000.
West Texas Intermediate fell by 2.8% to $45.03 and Brent Crude was down 2.4% to $47.21 a barrel.
In London, the FTSE 100 closed 0.58% down at 6,781.51.
Today, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May today told members of her cabinet that the government would have to deliver Brexit. In her first cabinet meeting since the summer break, May said, "Brexit means Brexit - we're going to make a success of it."
She added, "That means there's no second referendum; no attempts to sort of stay in the EU by the back door; that we're actually going to deliver on this."
The cabinet also concluded that there is no need to hold a parliamentary vote to trigger Brexit. It had been previously thought that as the referendum was not legally binding and the U.K. parliament would vote on if and when an exit would take place.
Miners pulled down the London benchmark index.
BHP Billiton (BHP) - Get Report lost 4.9% on Wednesday. BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie will reportedly not receive a bonus for the 2015/2016 fiscal year after recording a record lose earlier. Sky News says that shareholders have been briefed on the change to executives' pay, which will also see other C-suite members' discretionary pay cut.
In Frankfurt, the Dax was down 0.81% at 10,592.69. In Paris, the Cac 40 fell in afternoon trading to end the day 0.43% down at 4,438.22.
Germany's Manager Magazin today reported that Deutsche Bank was looking at Commerzbank. Adding fuel to the fire, speaking at the Handelsblatt conference Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan said, "We need more mergers, at a national level, but even across national borders."
However, CNBC reported that Cryan later said that he does not think a merger with Commerzbank was an option at the moment.
The Wall Street Journal reported the two banks discussed a possible merger over a two-week period this month, but came to the conclusion that the merger was not viable. The Journal cited people familiar with the talks.
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