European shares slip early after Fed minutes, French PMI
European shares dropped early today after minutes from the US Federal Reserve's last policy meeting signalled the central bank could start to wind down its stimulus measures in the next few months.
Minutes of the Fed's Oct. 29-30 policy meeting, released on Wednesday, showed the bank's officials felt they could start scaling back the asset-purchase programme at one of its next few meetings if economic conditions warranted it.
At 0808 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.7pc at 1,288.87 points, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.9pc at 3,019.19 points.
Also hitting sentiment on Thursday, data showed French business activity shrank again in November after eking out growth for two months, suggesting the euro zone's second-biggest economy may be slipping back into recession.