Miners lead European stocks down

by Jonathan Adams
European stocks

The Stoxx 600 index inched down 0.1 per cent, after dropping 1.7 per cent earlier in the session, drifting further away from an all-time high

European stocks dipped on Thursday, weighed down by a fall in heavyweight miners after commodity prices tumbled, while a rapid rise in US inflation kept risk sentiment at bay.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index inched down 0.1 per cent, after dropping 1.7 per cent earlier in the session, drifting further away from an all-time high.

Basic resources dropped 3.0 per cent, leading declines among European sectors, while oil and gas shed 1.4 per cent. The sectors were among recent market leaders on the back of a surge in commodity prices.

Automakers also lost 0.9 per cent, while defensive names like utilities, healthcare and telecoms gained.

At one point today European markets were down heavily. Inflation concerns once again weighed on sentiment, however these lows proved to be short-lived, with the rest of the day spent clawing the bulk, or all of the losses back, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in London.

In an extremely fickle environment markets are continuing to wrestle with the dilemma as to whether the current bout of rising inflation prints is transitory in nature, he said.

European stocks have rallied to all-time highs this month, with the Stoxx 600 up nearly 9.5 per cent so far this year as economic recovery prospects and strong earnings drew buyers of equities.

British luxury brand Burberry declined 4.2 per cent on reporting a 10 per cent drop in annual sales, weighed down by the Covid-19 pandemic.

UK’s biggest broadband and mobile provider, BT Group, dropped 5.9 per cent as it reported a 7 per cent drop in revenue and a 6 per cent decline in adjusted earnings for the full year.

In another disappointing London stock market debut, shares of Canadian chip company Alphawave slumped by 21 per cent.

British engineering company Rolls-Royce dropped around 6 per cent, as it stuck to its guidance to turn free cash flow positive at some point during the second half of 2021.

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