European stocks decline


European stocks declined, snapping two days of gains, after Japan lowered an assessment of its economy for the first time in 10 months. US index futures were little changed, while Asian shares fell.

G4S dropped 2.1 per cent after the security company said that first-half profit slumped 73 per cent.

Lamprell slipped 1.1 per cent after the oil-rig engineer posted a loss for the six months through June.

Vestas Wind Systems surged 17 per cent after saying it has started talks with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries over possible cooperation.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.5 per cent to 267.88 at 10.58am in London.

The gauge has still risen 15 per cent from this year's low on June 4 as European Central Bank president Mario Draghi pledged to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro.

Standard and Poor's 500 Index futures gained 0.1 per cent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.5 per cent.

"The world economy in the second quarter was the worst in quite some time, and Japan is catching up now," said Konstantin Giantiroglou, head of investment advisory at Neue Aargauer Bank in Brugg, Switzerland.

"With European company earnings, we've seen a very mixed picture in the last few weeks, and there have certainly been some disappointments."

Japan's government downgraded its view on personal consumption, housebuilding, exports, imports and industrial output in the world's third-largest economy. It also lowered its assessment of the global economy.