European stocks drifted lower on Thursday, after indications that the Federal Reserve last month wasn’t aggressively looking to cut interest rates.

Down 2.6% for August heading into the day, the Stoxx Europe 600

SXXP, -0.18%

 weakened 0.26% to 374.81.

The German DAX

DAX, +0.08%

  dropped 0.18% to 11781.29, the French CAC 40

PX1, -0.18%

 fell 0.31% to 5418.68 and the U.K. FTSE 100

UKX, -0.36%

 fell 0.3% to 7182.04,

Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s last meeting, released after European stock markets had closed on Wednesday, showed the central bankers generally favored an approach “that avoided any appearance of following a preset course.” Traders will now look to the key Jackson Hole conference and the speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday for interest-rate direction from the world’s largest economy.

After a 240-point surge for the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.93%

  on Wednesday, U.S. stock futures

ES00, +0.09%

 showed little movement.

In Europe, IHS Markit reported that flash French manufacturing PMI reached a 2-month high and that services PMI rose to a 9-month high in August, while German manufacturing PMI inched up to a 2-month high, with services PMI falling to a 7-month low.

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