European markets lower; investors await Bank of England policy decision

European markets lower; investors await Bank of England policy decision

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.06 percent lower, with the majority of sectors and all major bourses trading in the red.

Basic resources were the worst-performing sector in early deals as mining stocks lagged. Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Glencore were all down more than a percent.

Financial services also sunk lower, led by losses for Provident Financial. The firm was at the bottom of the European benchmark, down more than 5 percent, after RBC cut its price target to 775 pence from 2650 pence.

On the other end, retail stocks moved higher. British retailer Next rose to the top of the benchmark after upgrading its full-year sales and profits forecast. The company now predicts full-year profits of between £687 million and £747 million, compared with its previous estimate of £680 million and £740 million. The stock was up almost 8 percent. Meanwhile, John Lewis fell flat after reporting a 50 percent fall in profits following its restructuring. Profit before tax fell 53.3 percent to £26.6 million for the half-year ending 29 July

The oil and gas sector also moved into positive territory, buoyed by an announcement from the International Energy Agency Wednesday saying that global demand is catching up with supply. Brent traded at $55.05 early Thursday, while WTI was at $49.31.

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