MILAN (Reuters) - European shares dipped on Thursday at the end of a choppy session with luxury stocks among the leading losers after an underwhelming presentation from Gucci owner Kering (PRTP.PA).
Stronger energy stocks .SXEP and gains among banks on expectations that the European Central Bank may soon start to wind down its stimulus helped the pan-European STOXX 600 limit its decline to 0.2 percent.
Kering (PRTP.PA), which hit a fresh record high earlier this week, fell more than 4 percent.
Gucci, the biggest earnings driver at the French group, said it expected sales to grow at twice the pace of the luxury market in coming years and for revenue to eventually reach 10 billion euros.
These goals failed to impress investors with traders citing worries that margins and growth in the sector may have peaked, including in the key Chinese market.
Shares in Kering rival LVMH (LVMH.PA) fell 3 percent.
“Market participants are somewhat coming to the conclusion that the strong growth rate that luxury goods have experienced ... is about to moderate going forward,” said Tradition Securities strategist Stephane Ekolo.
The banking sector index .SX7P rose 0.3 percent as the euro held near a two-week high and the yield on Germany’s benchmark 10-year bond DE10YT=TWEB hit its own two-week high.
Banks typically benefit from higher bond yields, which are currently rising after ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet suggested on Wednesday the central bank may use next week’s policy meeting to reveal more about the end of its bond-buying programme.
“The rise in yields helped push banking stocks higher in the process,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.
Italian banks .FTIT8300 however fell 1.2 percent. UBI (UBI.MI) fell 1.5 percent after a downgrade from Credit Suisse, while mutual bank Popolare di Sondrio (BPSI.MI) fell on concerns that a government review of a reform of bank governance rules could put at risk its plan to become a joint stock company.
Energy stocks were the biggest sectoral gainer, up 1.5 percent, as oil prices were lifted by concern about a steep drop in exports from Venezuela.
Deutsche Bank analyst Lucas Herrman said even though oil prices have fallen from their recent peak, he expected a very robust second quarter for big European oil majors.
Elsewhere, Remy Cointreau (RCOP.PA) fell 4.8 percent after publishing its annual results with traders citing disappointment over the company’s dividend.
Danish drugmaker Lundbeck (LUN.CO) fell 1 percent after it agreed to pay 52.6 million dollars to resolve a U.S. inquiry into its financial support of patient assistance charitable foundations.
Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Editing by David Stamp and Andrew Heavens