LONDON (The Deal) -- European stocks slipped back on Wednesday after oil prices resumed their descent, dampening spirits momentarily raised by robust U.S. consumer and house-price data on Tuesday.
In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.31% at 6,295.21. At that level it is down about 4.1% from year-end 2014, and well below its April highs of just over 7,000.
The lead decliners in London included retailer Sports Direct International, as well as Standard Chartered (SCBFF) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) , which recently emerged as the weakest of Britain's largest banks in Bank of England stress tests. Resources companies led by Glencore (GLCNF) , BP (BP - Get Report) , BHP Billiton (BHP) , and Rio Tinto (RIO) also dropped.
Brent crude oil was recently down 1.6% at $37.20 per barrel, while copper and silver were among other commodities trading lower.
In Frankfurt, the DAX fell 0.40% to 10,817.23. That's up about 10.3% from the closing position a year ago after the German and other eurozone benchmarks benefited from European Central Bank monetary maneuvers.
In Paris, the CAC 40 was by late morning little changed at 4,702.52.
Melrose Industries (MLSPF) moved higher in London after the industrial investor late on Tuesday spelled out plans to return £2.4 billion ($3.6 billion) to shareholders following the disposal of its Elster metering business to Honeywell International (HON - Get Report) for £3.3 billion.
Western Siberia-focused oil and gas explorer RusPetro (RUSPF) rose more than 5% after Bank Otkritie Financial agreed to revise its covenants.
Mirada was up 19% on London's Alternative Investment Market as it swung into the black at the Ebitda level in the first half and predicted it would generate positive free cash flow in the year beginning next April. The company makes interactive TV software that allows viewers to manage what they are watching on TV using their smartphones.
Asian markets ended the day mixed after early Wall Street-inspired gains abated.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed up 0.27% at 19,033.71, the highest year-end level since 1996. The Topix rose 0.25% to 1,547.30.
Japanese markets will be closed on Thursday for a public holiday, as will some European markets, including Frankfurt.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng fell 0.53% to close at 21,882.15. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.26% to 3,572.88 and the Shenzhen Component index gained 0.65% to close at 12,889.83.
China Telecom (CHA - Get Report) closed down 1.1%. Late on Wednesday the company said chairman and CEO Chang Xiaobing had resigned with immediate effect after becoming a target of China's anti-graft clampdown. He will be replaced for the time being by president and chief operating officer Yang Jie.
In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.0% to close at 5,319.9.