European shares inch lower; services PMI awaited

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(Reuters) – European shares retreated from recent gains on Wednesday as concerns over the virus outbreak in China persisted, while markets also waited for service-sector activity data from the bloc.

The pan-European STOXX 600 () index fell 0.2% by 0803 GMT, having recently recovered from a week of heavy selling as investors gauged the economic fallout from the fast-spreading coronavirus.

The focus now turns to the January reading for IHS Markit’s services purchasing managers’ index, which is expected at 0900 GMT.

The figure will help gauge the health of the services sector in the euro zone, which has largely supported business activity amid a manufacturing slump.

Oil and gas stocks () were among the worst performing regional subindexes for the day, losing 0.8%.

German conglomerate Siemens AG (DE:) fell 1% after posting a weaker-than-expected industrial profit during its first quarter owing to a broader manufacturing decline.

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