European shares slipped on Thursday as investor sentiment was dented by global growth slowdown fears, but gains in France thanks to strong earnings helped set a lower limit to the broader decline.
The U.S. Federal Reserve maintained its patient stance on Wednesday citing risks from a cooling global economy and an unresolved trade dispute with China and potentially the European Union which came shortly after the European Central Bank had also maintained its dovish stance.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index dipped 0.1 per cent at 0716 GMT with only Paris in the positive territory, up 0.3 per cent.
Ireland’s Brexit-sensitive ISEQ stock index was flat after the European Union gave British Prime Minister Theresa May until October to leave the bloc, but the lack of clarity on when, how or even if Brexit will happen, kept a lid on gains.
Louis Vuitton owner LVMH rose 3.2 per cent after sales growth at the luxury goods conglomerate picked up pace in the first quarter.
Christian Dior, Italian luxury outerwear maker Moncler and Burberry also climbed on the back of LVMH’s results taking the Europe’s personal and household goods sector 0.3 per cent higher after four straight sessions of losses.
Sodexo jumped 3.4 per cent after the French food services group posted a stronger-than-expected rise in first-half revenues as growth accelerated in North America during the second quarter.
Deutsche Bank ticked 0.7 per cent higher after a German newspaper reported its Chief Executive Christian Sewing has told his counterpart at Commerzbank that he wants more time to consider a merger. Commerzbank rose more than 1 per cent.
Prysmian shed more than six per cent and was among the biggest percentage decliners on STOXX 600 as the Italian cable maker said would review its financial results for last year.
Sunrise Communications’ slipped 0.5 per cent as a top shareholder blocked plans to extend the company’s right to issue fresh capital to 2021, complicating its bid to buy Liberty Global’s Swiss UPC cable business for 6.3 billion dollars.
Ted Baker rose 1.7 per cent as it ended an independent investigation into allegations of misconduct involving its founder Ray Kelvin and the fashion retailer’s policies and handling of employee grievances.
ASML was among the biggest drags to the pan-region index on a media report that said Chinese employees stole corporate secrets from Dutch semi-conductor equipment maker, resulting in hundreds of millions of euros in losses.