By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
European stocks slipped on Thursday on concern over the state of U.S.-China trade talks, as data showed a stagnating economy in Germany.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -1.64% dropped 0.08% to 405.52, which still is near to its record close of 414.06.
“European equities appear modestly cheap on an absolute basis and extremely cheap relative to government and corporate bonds,” said strategists at Citi, who forecast the Stoxx 600 will reach 420 by the end of 2020.
The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -0.67% declined 0.34% to 13184.51, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -1.39% weakened 0.04% to 5904.98 and the U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -2.53% fell 0.18% to 7338.01,
Trade talks between the U.S. and China have hit a snag over farm purchases, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, Germany reported its economy grew 0.1% in the third quarter, which was slightly better than forecast but from a downwardly revised second quarter.
“In some sense, this is the ‘worst’ of both worlds for markets. Today’s data confirm that the German economy has now stalled, but the headlines are probably not dire enough to prompt an immediate and aggressive fiscal response from Berlin,” said Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at research consulting firm Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Also on the economics front, U.K. retail sales grew 0.2% in the three months ending October, which is the worst showing in 16 months.
Of stocks on the move, Qiagen /zigman2/quotes/208965936/delayed DE:QIA -0.97% jumped 13.6% after Bloomberg News reported biotechnology developer Thermo Fisher Scientific /zigman2/quotes/201150432/composite TMO -0.31% has approached the German-listed genetic testing company with an offer. Neither Thermo Fisher nor Qiagen has commented.
Burberry Group /zigman2/quotes/205386705/delayed UK:BRBY -3.58% rallied 4.5% as the luxury-goods company reported a stronger-than-forecast profit in its fiscal first half. It did cut its outlook for gross margin because of the disruptions in Hong Kong.
Daimler /zigman2/quotes/205332368/delayed DE:DAI +1.44% as the Mercedes-Benz automaker said profits in 2020 and 2021 will be negatively affected by efforts to meet carbon targets. Daimler said it will cut an unspecified number of jobs.
3i Group /zigman2/quotes/202254899/delayed UK:III -2.60% declined 4.4% after the private-equity firm reported a 10% return in the six months to September 30. The stock is nonetheless up 39% this year.