European shares opened lower today, Friday, as investors increased caution ahead of key speeches by central bank chiefs at the Jackson Hole symposium in the United States, while rising bond yields continued to pressure stocks.
By 0711 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.1%, although it appeared to be heading for its first weekly gain in four weeks.
US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak at 1405 GMT, while European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde will speak at 1700 GMT.
Central bankers’ speeches will be important for assessing the outlook for interest rates amid hopes that central banks are nearing the end of their tightening cycle.
Bond yields rose across Europe, with the yield on German Bunds, considered the benchmark for Europe, rising to 2.54%. Interest-sensitive real estate stocks fell 0.1%.
On the other hand, growth-sensitive technology stocks fell 0.5%, while the travel and leisure sector lost 0.4%.
To limit the losses, energy shares rose 0.6% due to the rise in crude oil prices, while commodity prices rose 0.2% due to the rise in metal prices.
Germany’s DAX lost 0.1% after official data showed that the German economy stagnated in the second quarter compared to the previous three months, following a winter slump.
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