European stocks set for worst week in 6 months on virus, growth worries

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany August 19, 2021. REUTERS/Staff

(Reuters) – A slide in European shares halted on Friday, although the index was still on course for its worst week since February on signs of slowing growth, rising COVID-19 cases and fears of a sooner-than-expected tapering in monetary stimulus.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.1% at 0705 GMT following a 1.5% slump in the previous session on indications that the U.S. Federal Reserve could start reining in easy money policies later this year.

The mining index recovered from a 4% fall on Thursday as copper prices stabilised, but was still set to be the worst performing European sector for the week. [MET/L]

Luxury goods were also tracking weekly declines of nearly 6%, pressured by worries over possible wealth policy developments in China.

Germany’s DAX slipped 0.2% as data showed producer prices jumped more than expected last month.

In company news, UK supermarket Morrisons jumped 4.5% to the top of the STOXX 600 after agreeing a takeover offer worth 7.0 billion pounds ($9.54 billion), while Swedish real estate web portal Hemnet surged 14.6% on an upbeat quarterly report.

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