European shares slip back; ECB, BoE eyed

European shares slip back; ECB, BoE eyed

London: European shares edged lower in early trade on Thursday, giving up a little of the previous two sessions’ gains, and ahead of interest rate decisions and policy indications from the Bank of England and European Central Bank.

At 12:38pm, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.3% at 1,067.95 points, after rising 0.5% in the previous session.

Later in the session, the BoE and the ECB are both expected to say they are keeping interest rates at record low levels, of 0.5 and 1% respectively.

“We’re not expecting the Bank of England to do anything concrete today. The markets have been pushed up on the expectations of QE (quantitative easing), but that’s generally US QE. People expect the Fed to do more QE next month," said Philip Isherwood , European equities strategist at Evolution Securities.

Miners gave up some gains from the previous session, though gold hit another record high, and copper remained near recent highs. Antofagasta, Kazakhmys and Vedanta fell between 0.9 and 2.6%.

Renault soared 7.3% after the French carmaker announced the sale of a large part of its 21.7% stake in Swedish truck maker Volvo. Volvo shares fell 3.3%.