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European shares drop after recent rally; economic woes weigh

 
DE40
-0.18%

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SNY
-0.78%

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STOXX
-0.19%

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By Khushi Singh and Ankika Biswas

(Reuters) -European shares took a breather on Thursday after strong gains recently, with travel and leisure stocks leading declines, as investors grew wary of a economic downturn after weak German data and awaited the eurozone’s GDP print

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.3% by 0935 GMT after touching a more than four-month high on Wednesday. The index is on track for its fourth straight weekly gain. Germany’s DAX, too, fell 0.2% after scaling a fresh all-time high in the prior session. “It seems like a runaway trade, and we may see a little correction given the overextended rally. By no means is this a turning point as there’s still further momentum to go,” said Daniela Hathorn, senior market analyst at Capital.com.

Fresh data showed Germany’s industrial sector struggling as Germany’s industrial production unexpectedly fell in October, a day after industrial orders in the 20-bloc nation’s largest economy also surprisingly fell during the same month.

Further, data showed Italian industrial output fell 0.2% in October month-on-month, a fraction less than expected.

“At the back of everyone’s mind on the macro side, fundamentally, there are some concerns,” Hathorn added. Travel and leisure led sectoral losses, shedding 1.2%, following a 3.3%-5.4% drop in International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON: ICAG), Air France-KLM and Lufthansa after J.P. Morgan downgraded the airline stocks to “underweight” from “overweight”. Utilities and food and beverage stocks were the only sectoral gainers, up 0.4% and 0.1%, respectively. Investors now await the eurozone final third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) print, due 10: 00 a.m. GMT. U.S. initial jobless claims, due later in the day, will be monitored following growing evidence of labour market weakness across the Atlantic.

Meanwhile, a Reuters poll showed the ECB will start cutting rates by the second quarter of next year, earlier than previously thought, as the economy enters a short and shallow winter recession.

Among individual stocks, Sanofi (NASDAQ: SNY) shares gained as much as 1.5% before slipping into the red after the drugmaker said it has a dozen drug candidates with annual sales potential of more than $1 billion in development.

Shares of Games Workshop Group tumbled 11.0% to the bottom of STOXX 600 after the miniature wargame maker reported half year trading update.

Thyssenkrupp (ETR: TKAG) fell 4% as the company may need to hand over cash or keep hold of some pension liabilities to win over Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky as a co-owner of its steel business.

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