European shares in the red as downbeat U.S. data stokes growth concerns

By Shreyashi Sanyal and Amruta Khandekar

(Reuters) -European shares dipped on Monday as investors took profits after last week’s rebound, as news of weak U.S. business activity stirred up economic slowdown worries and eclipsed gains in telecom stocks.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended 0.4% lower after a survey showed the U.S. services sector barely grew in May, while factory orders rose less than expected.

“There’s a bit of profit taking after some of the moves we’ve had recently,” said Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers.

“The economic reports that we’ve gotten around the world (signal) a somewhat slowing economy.”

U.S. equities stayed firm, boosted by big technology and growth stocks.

The STOXX 600 index failed to sustain the optimism from Friday’s rally after euro zone inflation eased, the U.S. averted a debt default, and bets grew that the U.S. Federal Reserve could pause its rate hikes this month.

However, hawkish comments from European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde and Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel likely cemented expectations for more rate increases from the central bank in June.

European telecoms rebounded 0.4% from their worst session in 15 months on Friday after Inc said it was in talks to offer low-priced mobile services.

Shares of Indivior Plc jumped 7.8% to top the STOXX 600 index after the drugmaker agreed to pay $102.5 million to settle a lawsuit for its opioid addiction treatment Suboxone.

Asos jumped 7.1% on a report that the fashion retailer received a 1 billion pound bid from Alibaba-backed rival, Trendyol.

Shares of Viaplay Group plunged 62.7% to a record low after the Swedish streaming company warned of a weakening business environment and said it was replacing its chief executive.

Sweden-based Volvo Cars rose 6.9% after posting a 31% rise in sales in May year-on-year.

The STOXX 600 ended May with declines of over 3%, logging this year’s worst monthly performance as much of the month went by with worries about the U.S. debt ceiling standoff and signs of a global economic slowdown.

Swiss annual inflation dipped to 2.2% as expected in May, government data showed.

The Copenhagen Stock Exchange was closed on Monday for the Constitution Day holiday.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Richard Chang)