European shares slipped on Wednesday as worries about a slowing Chinese economy, declines in luxury and travel stocks and soaring UK inflation kept the main indexes under pressure.
The benchmark STOXX 600 index was down 0.1% in morning trade, and off about 2% from the record high in mid-August.
Asian stocks took a hit after data showed China’s factory and retail sectors faltered in August with output and sales growth hitting one-year lows following fresh coronavirus outbreaks and supply disruptions.
- Retail .SXRP and travel & leisure stocks were the top decliners in Europe, down almost 1%, on concerns over the fresh COVID-19 outbreak in China’s Fujian province and signs of tighter regulations in Macau, the world’s largest gambling hub.
- French luxury goods makers LVMH MC and Kering KER fell over 3%.
While optimism about a steady European economic recovery remains, the STOXX 600 is on course to end its seven-month winning streak in September, as investors grow anxious over global growth and monetary policy outlook.
- UK’s FTSE 100 UK100 edged lower and mid-cap stocks .FTMC fell 0.3% after data showed British inflation hit a more than nine-year high last month. .L
- Fashion retailer H&M HM_B fell 2.8% as quarterly sales increased less than expected, while Zara owner Inditex ITX slipped 1.0% even as sales approached pre-pandemic levels.
- Swedish Match SWMA rose 3.4% after the tobacco and nicotine products maker unveiled plans to spin off its U.S. cigar business to shareholders and list it on the stock market.
- Dutch online food delivery company Just Eat Takeaway TKWY dropped 4.0% after the Financial Times reported that UK rival Deliveroo ROO and Amazon AMZN will offer free delivery to Prime subscribers. Deliveroo gained 0.9%.
Oil stocks were the top gainers as crude prices climbed after industry data showed a larger than expected drawdown in crude oil stocks in the United States