Investing.com - European markets opened lower on Thursday, as investors focused on the release of euro zone manufacturing and service sector activity data due later in the trading session.
Markets were still jittery after German Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to form a government coalition on Sunday.
Merkel she would prefer a new election to a minority government. However, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that political parties owed it to their voters to try to form a government.
Earlier Thursday, research group Markit said its German manufacturing purchasing managers' index increased to 62.5 in November from 60.6 the previous month, while the services PMI ticked up to 54.9 from 54.7.
Market participants were still awaiting PMI figures for the entire euro zone.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) and Unicredit (MI:CRDI) declined 0.14% and 1.07% respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) retreated 0.26% and 0.60%.
Thyssenkrupp AG O.N. (DE:TKAG) added to losses, with shares down 1.78% after the German engineering group reported a record number of elevator orders and said that it still hopes to sign a contract with Tata Steel in early 2018.
In London, FTSE 100 dropped 0.50%, weighed by Centrica (LON:CNA), whose shares dove 16.86% after the company said it lost an additional 823,000 domestic energy customers between the end of June and October.
In the financial sector, stocks were on the downside. Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) fell 0.33% and Barclays (LON:BARC) slumped 0.40%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) and HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) declined 0.45% and 0.95% respectively.
Meanwhile, Severn Trent (LON:SVT) was one of the top performers on the index, as shares rallied 1.13% after the company pledged to sell off its surplus land, which is expected to help supply the British housing market.
In the U.S., equity markets were to remain closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
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