European Shares Surrender Early Gains On Growth Worries

European stocks gave up initial gains to turn lower on Thursday as a slew of disappointing regional data rekindled worries about slowing growth.

Data from the federal statistics office showed that German exports fell 1.2 percent in August from the previous month, compared with a 0.4 percent decline forecast by analysts and a downward-revised 1.9 percent fall in July.

Germany’s construction sector contracted more sharply in September amid a near-record fall in new work, according to S&P Global.

Elsewhere, French industrial production fell in August from the previous month. Retail sales also came in weak, pointing to a weakening of the economy in the third quarter.

Another survey showed that Britain’s construction industry experienced the biggest slide in activity in more than three years last month.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was little changed with a positive bias at 440.24 after closing 0.1 percent lower on Wednesday.

The German DAX slipped 0.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.3 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE was marginally higher.

In corporate news, jewelry retailer Pandora jumped over 9 percent after raising its growth targets.

RM Plc., a supplier of technology and resources to the education sector, rose about 1 percent in London after it has agreed to sell an additional portion of its Internet Protocol v4 addresses to Hilco Streambank, an intellectual property advisory firm, for $2.2 million in cash.

Imperial Brands jumped 3.5 percent. The maker of John Player Special cigarettes reaffirmed its forecast and announced a $1.3 bln share buyback.

Thales Group shares fell around 1 percent in Paris. The defense equipment maker has signed a contract with Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, a Polish arms holding company, to deliver multiple combat systems for the Polish Navy.

Alstom shares plunged 37 percent after the train manufacturer slashed its free cash flow target due to a ramp-up in production and delays in some orders.

SMA Solar Technology shares soared 14 percent. The German solar energy equipment supplier raised its guidance for the full year 2023, citing a very positive revenue and earnings development in the Large Scale & Project Solutions and Commercial & Industrial Solutions segments.

Wind turbine maker Nordex SE rose 1.2 after bagging an order for 45 MW wind turbines from Enerfin, a renewable energy unit of Spanish engineering company, Elecnor Group.

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