European stocks fall as weak economic data heightens growth concerns
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* German retail sales fall more than expected
* Eurozone factories struggled in May – PMI
* Dr. Martens pounces on optimistic outlook
* DWS slide as CEO resigns
June 1 (Reuters) – European stocks gave up early gains on Wednesday as weak German retail sales and slowing factory activity in the euro zone stoked concerns about economic growth amid a slump. record inflation.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.3%, after gaining as much as 0.4% in early trading. The benchmark lost 1.6% in May as soaring inflation fueled fears of aggressive central bank action.
German retail sales fell 5.4% more than expected in April, the data showed, while manufacturing growth in the eurozone slowed last month as factories faced supply shortages, prices high and falling demand.
“The price action we’ve seen this week in equities is very indicative of the overall uncertainty in markets right now,” said Stuart Cole, chief macroeconomist at Equiti Capital.
“Yesterday’s higher-than-expected inflation figures in the EU rekindled fears about how interest rates could be raised in general. The main fear is that central bank actions could cause inadvertently recessions.”
Deutsche Bank economists have raised expectations for policy tightening from the European Central Bank and expect interest rates to rise 50 basis points in September.
On the STOXX 600, declines in commodities-related stocks and technology outpaced gains in banks and consumer stocks.
Regional scholarships were mixed. The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 fell 0.1%, while Germany’s DAX gained 0.2%, led by automakers.
The STOXX 600 posted losses for every month except March this year as investors worried about high inflation, tighter central bank policy and the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Investors hope inflation may have peaked are challenged by oil prices, which soared above $120 a barrel on Tuesday after European Union leaders agreed to a partial, phased ban on oil Russian oil.
Among individual stocks, British footwear brand Dr. Martens jumped 26.2% after forecasting higher annual revenue growth, helped by price hikes made in response to soaring inflation and the increase in sales of its shoes and boots.
Deutsche Bank asset manager DWS tumbled 7% after its CEO announced he would step down next week as the company faced claims by misleading investors about ‘green’ investing . (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sriraj Kalluvila)