European shares fall as energy stocks weigh; focus on US jobs data

European shares fall as energy stocks weigh; focus on US jobs data

LONDON (Reuters): European shares edged lower on Friday as crude prices continued to weigh on energy stocks, with all eyes on US jobs data expected later in the day, according to Reuters.

The pan-European index STOXX 600 was down 0.1 percent amid worries that the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive pace of rate hikes would slow economic growth in the world’s largest economy.

The oil and gas sector fell 1 percent as crude prices languished near their lowest since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, with markets juggling concerns of supply shortage and slower demand.

Company results were mixed on Friday, with Deutsche Post up 6.4 percent on posting double-digit growth in revenue and earnings.

London Stock Exchange Group gained 2.6 percent on saying costs and savings targets for integrating its $27 billion acquisition of data company Refinitiv remain unchanged and it was launching a 750 million pound ($910.65 million) share buy-back.

German insurer Allianz fell 2.1 percent on reporting a worse-than-expected 23 percent fall in second-quarter net profit.

“It is quite understandable that investors, especially institutional, are rethinking their portfolios and fundamentals are likely to drive investment decisions over the near-to-medium term,” Kunal Sawhney, chief executive officer at Kalkine Group, said.

Credit Suisse fell 1.1 percent in early trading after Fitch Ratings downgraded the bank and a local media report said it was among the lenders at big risk from Mexican finance company Credito Real’s bankruptcy.

The embattled Swiss bank’s shares are down 41 percent so far this year, compared with a 15.5 percent decline in the European banking index.

Miners rose 0.6 percent as copper and most other base metals continued to find support from a weaker US dollar.

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