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European Markets Drop as Political Issues Persist

European Markets Drop as Political Issues Persist

European stocks declined on Monday, as investors kept abreast of the latest in politics, including the fallout from heightened Middle East tensions.

The pan-European STOXX 600 ended provisionally down by 0.39 percent, with nearly all of the region's sectors closing the session lower. Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.91 percent, France's CAC 40 shed 0.04 percent while Germany's DAX lost 0.41 percent.

Food and beverages stocks were some of the worst performers amid earnings news. Marine Harvest's plans to operate an experimental fish farm to produce salmon was rejected by Norwegian regulators. This news followed lower-than-expected earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) during the first three months of the year. Shares of Marine Harvest lost nearly one percent. A number of London-listed consumer groups also closed sharply lower, on the back of a weaker FTSE 100.

Shares of Whitbread bounced 7.2 percent after Elliott Management said in a statement over the weekend that it has amassed a stake of over six percent in Britain's biggest hotel and coffee-shop operator. Elliott also said it believes it's currently the largest investor in the company, whose businesses include the Premier Inn chain and Costa Coffee chain.

Software shares lost 6.1 percent after the German provider of process and integration software improved its 2018 outlook for revenue tied to cloud computing and the so-called Internet of Things. The company also disclosed a decline in first-quarter revenue for another business.

WPP, which has already declined around 30 percent in 2018 — dropped 6.5 percent. The world's biggest advertising agency saw its CEO Martin Sorrell quit on Saturday amid allegations of personal misconduct.

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