European stocks dip as rate uncertainty weighs

By Thomson Reuters May 21, 2024 | 2:21 AM

(Reuters) – European stocks inched lower on Tuesday, following losses in Asian equities as U.S. Federal Reserve officials tempered investor enthusiasm about potential interest rate cuts as they called for policy caution.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.3% by 0710 GMT, with gains in healthcare stocks more than offset by losses in banks and utilities.

Investors will focus on minutes from the Fed’s last policy meeting and chip giant Nvidia’s earnings on Wednesday to see if the recent momentum, that pushed U.S. and European equities to record highs, continues.

Weighing on market mood, Fed officials including Vice Chair Philip Jefferson were not ready to say inflation is heading to the central bank’s 2% target, with several on Monday calling for continued policy caution.

The market declines came even as data showed German producer prices fell more than expected in April.

AstraZeneca gained 0.9%, after the drugmaker said it aims to grow revenue by about 75% to $80 billion by 2030.

Generali dipped 3.3%, after Italy’s top insurer reported first-quarter results, while energy contractor Saipem climbed 3.5% on winning new contracts worth $3.7 billion.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)