European stocks fell on Friday as investors digested disappointing private sector growth data and kept a close eye on developments at the EU Summit in Brussels. Oil prices edged up in European trade, but remained on course for a fifth weekly loss.
The euro area private sector grew at the slowest pace in five months in June, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed today.
The composite output index fell to 55.7 in June from a joint six-year high of 56.8 in May. Slower growth was recorded in both France and Germany, down to five- and four-month lows respectively, largely reflecting weaker rates of service sector expansion.
The French economy expanded more than previously estimated in the first quarter, another report from the statistical office Insee showed.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.3 percent at 387.31 in late opening deals after closing marginally higher the previous day.
The German DAX was losing half a percent, while France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were down around 0.4 percent each.
The pound strengthened as British Prime Minister Theresa May laid out what she called a “fair deal” for EU citizens living in the U.K. and Kristin Forbes, a member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, said the U.K.’s “overstimulated” economy is “behind the curve” on rate hikes.
Given that U.K. inflation is now likely to reach 3 percent, and is forecast to remain above 2 percent for at least three years, this suggests “some urgency” to hike rates, she said at the London Business School.
Energy giants Total SA, ENI and BP Plc lost about 1 percent each despite crude oil prices pulling away from 10-month lows.
Mining stocks also traded weak, with Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore declining between 0.3 percent and 0.8 percent.
Pizza delivery business Domino’s slumped 4.5 percent in London after Berenberg Bank lowered its price target on the stock.
ITV jumped more than 2 percent as Liberum Capital reiterated its buy rating on the…