By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- European stock markets retreated on Wednesday, keying off weakness from the Asian session, as investors looked ahead to the November Inflation Report from the Bank of England for any changes to economic forecasts.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 0.4% to 320.41, building on 0.6% loss from Tuesday.
U.K. banks posted some of the biggest losses ahead of the quarterly economic update from the central bank. Barclays PLC (BCS) lost 2%, HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC) fell 1.1%, and Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LYG) gave up 1%.
Investors will be scrutinizing the Inflation Report for any changes to the unemployment forecast, after recent data have pointed to a faster-than-expected improvement in the labor market and the broader economy. In the August Inflation Report the BOE laid out its forward-guidance framework and vowed to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.5% at least until the joblessness rates falls to the 7% threshold.
The outlook for inflation will also be a focal point after data showed Tuesday that consumer prices rose by 2.2% in October, down from September's 2.7% and below the 2.5% forecast by analysts.
The pound (GBPUSD) traded at $1.5889, down from $1.5902 on Tuesday. The FTSE 100 index lost 0.8% to 6,675.20.
The broader European markets also looked to Asia, where stocks declined after China's leaders failed to provide a clear direction on policy for the next decade at their four-day Plenum. U.S. stock futures were also lower.
Among country-specific indexes in Europe, Germany's DAX 30 index gave up 0.3% to 9,052.87 and France's CAC 40 index erased 0.3% to 4,249.49.
Outside the major indexes, shares of Carlsberg AS climbed 2.6% after the Danish brewer reiterated its adjusted full-year guidance and said it expects profit to rise by a mid-single-digit percentage.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 13, 2013 04:40 ET (09:40 GMT)Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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