European stocks slip ahead of data deluge

Investors look to US and European economic data to gauge future path of monetary policy

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

European stocks slipped on Thursday after hitting record highs earlier this week as investors looked ahead to US and European economic data to gauge the future path of monetary policy.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.1 per cent by 0712 GMT, in line with cautious moves in Asian stocks.

The closely watched US jobs data on Friday will give fresh clues on the pace of recovery in the world’s largest economy, as well as signs of higher inflation at a time when investors are worried about an early tightening of monetary policy.

In euro zone, IHS Markit’s final reading of May services sector activity is due later in the day.

The top drag on the Stoxx index was Swiss drugmaker Roche, down 1.0 per cent, after Societe Generale downgraded the stock to “hold”.

French spirits group Remy Cointreau rose 3.9 per cent as it topped estimates for full-year operating profit growth and handed investors an 85 per cent dividend hike.

French construction materials group Saint-Gobain gained 3.2 per cent after forecasting record operating income and margin in the first half of the year. – Reuters