- Investors wait on US jobs report, Fed minutes
- IMF to revise up global growth estimate
- Eurozone jobless rate unchanged
- Eurozone retail sales rise
- German factory orders rise
FTSE 100: -0.46%
CAC 40: -0.18%
FTSE MIB: -0.22%
IBEX 35: -0.20%
Stoxx 600: -0.13%
European stocks declined ahead of the release of US labour-market figures that will help gauge the health of the world's biggest economy.
The report from the ADP Research Institute is expected to show employers added 200,000 workers in December, down from 215,000 the prior month. This is often seen as a rough indicator of the official non-farm payroll figures due to be released on Friday.
Federal Reserve policymakers are turning to economic data, particularly on the labour market, to weigh whether to announce a further tapering of monetary stimulus at the central bank's meeting this month.
The Fed last month announced it would begin reducing monthly bond purchases to $75bn from $85bn.
Minutes from the December 17th-18th meeting will be released after the close of European market today, and is likely to shed further light behind the Fed's decision to scale back quantitative easing.
"I still think the Fed will be very cautious at the next meeting at the end of January, reducing the asset purchases by only $10bn again as long as the data continues to suggest the recovery is gaining momentum," said Craig Erlam, Market Analyst at Alpari.
"But that doesn't mean that investors won't panic should we see a number significantly above 200,000, for example. It wouldn't be the first time."
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund plans to increase its forecast for world growth, Managing Director Christine Lagarde told reporters in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi yesterday.
She said the organisation, which currently estimates the global economy will expand by 3.6% this year, will announce its new forecast in about three weeks.
Eurozone jobless rate unchanged
The Eurozone's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 12.1% in November, as predicted by economists.
Eurozone retail sales edged up 1.4% in November, beating expectations for a 0.1% increase. In October sales fell 0.4%.
German factory orders grew by 2.1% in November compared to month earlier when they fell 2.1%. Economists had forecast a rise of 1.5%.
UK house prices dropped unexpectedly last month by 0.6%, Halifax data showed, causing the year-on-year rate of growth to slow 7.5% from November's six-year high of 7.7%.
Spain's 10-year yield dropped three basis points to 3.78% at 11:04 in London after falling to 3.77%, the lowest since December 2009.
Banking stocks rally
A gauge of European banks rose after Ireland successfully sold €3.75bn worth of 10-year bonds on Tuesday to strong demand.
Sainsbury declined after Chief Financial Officer John Rogers said that same-store sales for the company's financial year will rise less than 1%.
SAP gained after UBS recommended that investors buy shares
in the German software corporation.
Kion Group AG declined after Goldman Sachs and private equity firm KKR put a 10.8% stake in the forklift maker on sale.
The euro fell 0.25% to $1.3582.
Brent crude futures rose $0.334 to $107.710 per barrel on the ICE.