European stocks uncertain as investors track earnings, monetary policy

LONDON — European stocks retreated on Wednesday, as investors continued to digest corporate earnings, economic data and the potential path of monetary policy.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.6% by mid-afternoon, halving reversed opening gains of around 0.4%. Autos dropped 2.6% to lead losses while oil and gas stocks eked out a 0.4% climb.

The choppy trade for European markets comes after a similarly volatile session on Tuesday as the relief rally seen in the previous two sessions lost some momentum.

U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday, however, with the market resuming a bounce from last month’s lows, as traders bet on strong corporate earnings reports and wagered that markets have found a bottom.

However, European stocks lost momentum on Wednesday and U.S. stock futures also pointed to a muted open on Wall Street later in the day.

Shares in the Asia-Pacific jumped Wednesday after the sharp bounce in U.S. stocks overnight.

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The consumer price index rose 9.4% annually, according to estimates out Wednesday, slightly above a consensus forecast among economists polled by Reuters and up from 9.1% in May.

Uniper was the biggest climber on Wednesday. The German energy giant’s shares jumped more than 14% amid bailout talks with the government.

At the bottom of the Stoxx 600, Volvo Car fell more than 8% after the Swedish automaker lowered its retail sales forecast and missed second-quarter earnings expectations.

— CNBC’s Abigail Ng contributed to this story.

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