RTTNews - The European markets fell on Wednesday, as investors took cues from a sell-off in Chinese market and Volkswagen led automotive stocks lower.

China's Shanghai Composite Index closed 4.30% lower on Wednesday. The index dropped as much as 5.1% today, a 20.5% retreat from this year's high on August 4. A slump of at least 20% on an index is commonly defined as a bear market.

Crude for September delivery rose $2.49 at $71.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, by the time the European markets closed, after a U.S. government report showed that the country's crude stocks unexpectedly fell last week.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.28% lower at 931.98 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index fell 0.30% to 2,306.86 points.

Around Europe, France's CAC 40 index declined 0.01% to 3,450.34 and Germany's DAX index fell 0.36% to 5,231.98, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.08% to 4,689.67.

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, tumbled 14% after Manager-Magazin said Qatar bought options carrying the right to acquire as much as 50 % of Volkswagen's preferred shares from Porsche.

Peugeot, Europe's second biggest carmaker, fell 2.1% and Renault, France's second biggest carmaker, declined 1.2%.

UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, lost 1% on news that the Swiss government will hand over details of about 4,450 bank accounts to U.S. authorities as part of a deal struck with Washington over UBS.

On the other hand, heavily weighted oil stocks gained along with crude oil prices. BP, Europe's biggest oil company, surged up 1.1% and Royal/Dutch Shell, the second biggest, rose 1%.

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