- German investor confidence falls
- UK inflation rises
- Carney highlights concerns on housing market
- Yellen says interest rates to remain low
- US retail sales increase
FTSE 100: -0.53%
CAC 40: -1.03%
FTSE MIB: -1.33%
IBEX 35: -1.23%
Stoxx 600: -0.40%
European stocks retreated as investors weighed data on German investor confidence and UK inflation, and digested remarks from the heads of the UK and US central banks.
The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months ahead, declined to 27.1 in July from 29.8 in June. Economists had predicted a drop to 28.2.
"July's fall in German ZEW investor sentiment added to signs of a slowdown in the euro-zone's largest and strongest economy," Capital Economics said.
In the UK, inflation rose more than forecast in June, closer towards the Bank of England's (BoE) target of 2%.
The consumer price index (CPI) climbed 1.9% in the year to June, jumping up from 1.5% in May, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed, surprising analysts who had expected a 1.6% increase.
Also in the UK, BoE Governor Mark Carney appeared before lawmakers today to discuss last month's half-yearly Financial Stability report, highlighting concerns about accelerating prices in the housing market.
In the US, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signalled that interest rates will remain low since the US economic recovery is "not yet complete" and too many Americans remain unemployed.
Meanwhile, data showed manufacturing in the New York region grew in July. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's general economic index climbed to 25.60 from 19.28 in June, beating the forecast for a drop to 17.
Another US report revealed retail sales rose by just 0.2% in June, below the consensus forecast of 0.6%. However, sales in both April and May were revised to show stronger growth.
Espirito Santo, Software
Banco Espirito Santo fell for a seventh day as Rioforte Investments, a holding company of the troubled Portuguese group, faces a debt payment due today.
Software declined after saying the margin on full-year operating profit may be as little as 26%.
Gjensidige Forsikring gained after saying profit climbed more than analysts had estimated.
Draegerwerk retreated after the German maker of medical equipment lowered its 2014 sales growth estimate to 2-4% from 3-6%.
Hennes & Mauritz advanced as Europe's second-biggest clothing retailer said sales increased 12%in June, ahead of the 9.4% gain expected by analysts.
JM slumped as the Swedish builder reported second quarter net income that missed forecasts.
The euro fell 0.32% to $1.3576.
Brent crude futures dipped 2.090% to $104.79 per barrel, according to the ICE.