European stocks slip ahead of data deluge

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, June 2, 2021. REUTERS/Staff/File photo

(Reuters) – European stocks slipped on Thursday after hitting record highs earlier this week as investors looked ahead to U.S. and European economic data to gauge the future path of monetary policy.

The pan-European index was down 0.1% by 0712 GMT, in line with cautious moves in Asian stocks.

The closely watched U.S. jobs data on Friday will give fresh clues on the pace of recovery in the world’s largest economy, as well as signs of higher inflation at a time when investors are worried about an early tightening of monetary policy.

In euro zone, IHS Markit’s final reading of May services sector activity is due later in the day.

The top drag on the STOXX index was Swiss drugmaker Roche, down 1.0%, after Societe Generale (PA:) downgraded the stock to “hold”.

French spirits group Remy Cointreau rose 3.9% as it topped estimates for full-year operating profit growth and handed investors an 85% dividend hike.

French construction materials group Saint-Gobain gained 3.2% after forecasting record operating income and margin in the first half of the year.

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