European stocks head lower on virus, policy anxiety

European shares headed lower on Thursday after data outlined faltering German consumer morale as COVID-19 cases surged, while worries about monetary policy outlook further dented the mood.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.6% by 0707 GMT, with retail and mining stocks among the biggest losers.

Investors remained on edge ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual symposium on Friday, when chair Jerome Powell’s speech is likely to offer hints on plans to taper its stimulus programme.

Earlier, the South Korean central bank lifted its base rate off a record low, the first major economy in Asia to do so.

A survey showed the mood among German consumers darkened heading into September as accelerating inflation and rising COVID-19 cases made them more hesitant to buy.

Germany’s blue-chip DAX dropped 0.8% to its lowest level in almost a week, while UK’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 declined 0.6% each.

DWS Group fell 8.9% on a report U.S. authorities were investigating German lender Deutsche Bank’s asset management arm over sustainability claims.

France’s Vivendi  rose 2.4% after its unit Universal Music Group said it expects further revenue growth this year and it aims to pay out dividends once it lists in Amsterdam.

The FTSE MIB climbed down by  0.21% to 26,006.30. In the cash markets, the DAX  Germany was trading down 0.26%  to 15,819.65. CAC 40  in France  Fell  by 0.18 % to 6,664.22 while the FTSE 100  in the U.K. were down by 0.34% to 7,124.35. ,at the time of writing.

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