European shares open lower ahead of quarterly wages data

By Thomson Reuters Feb 20, 2024 | 2:37 AM

(Reuters) – European shares opened lower on Tuesday as a potential boost in euro zone’s wage settlements clouded over bets of an early interest rate cut, while China’s decision to trim its mortgage rate failed to impress markets.

The pan-European STOXX 600 dipped 0.1% by 0814 GMT. In the previous session, the index hit its highest level in more than two years.

Market focus will be on the euro zone’s fourth-quarter negotiated wages data after the European Central Bank singled out wage settlements as the most important variable in determining whether it can start cutting interest rate.

Shares of basic resources moved 1.8% lower amid a downturn in copper prices as a stronger dollar weighed, while traders assessed demand prospects in China after the top consumer’s mortgage rate cut failed to lift sentiment. [MET/L]

In corporate news, Air Liquide rose 6.2% to the top of STOXX 600 after the French industrial gases company posted a better-than-expected full-year operating profit and said it has already reached its 2025 margin target.

(Reporting by Khushi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)