* FTSEurofirst 300 falls 0.5 percent
* Miners slip as iron ore prices fall
* Bureau Veritas falls, Essilor advances
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Aug 28 European shares retreated from a
one-month high on Thursday, with uncertainty regarding the
European Central Bank's possible move to ease policy to
stimulate growth prompting investors to trade cautiously.
Investors awaited a slew of data releases on both Thursday
and Friday for hints about the market's direction in the near
term. Speculation of a quantitative easing (QE) programme has
grown since ECB President Mario Draghi struck a dovish tone at
the Jackson Hole meeting last week.
But ECB sources said late on Wednesday the central bank was
unlikely to take new policy action next week unless August
inflation figures on Friday show the euro zone sinking
significantly towards deflation.
"The market's primary focus appears to be on the ECB and the
likelihood and exact timing of any possible QE policy action,"
said Robert Parkes, director of equity strategy at HSBC.
"There has been some caution as investors are getting mixed
signals. Further economic indicators could provide some hints
about the ECB's next move."
Investors were also awaiting preliminary German inflation
data due later in the session for hints about how soft the euro
zone numbers might turn out. Other data releases include euro
zone economic sentiment indicators.
At 0820 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300
index was down 0.5 percent at 1,370.47 points after hitting a
one-month peak in the previous session.
Miners were the worst hit, with the STOXX Europe 600 basic
resources index falling 1.6 percent, led lower by a 3
percent drop in shares of global miner Rio Tinto as the
sector was hit by a drop in iron ore prices in China, the
world's biggest metals consumer.
Among individual sharp movers, Bureau Veritas fell
6 percent after Barclays and Jefferies cut their target prices
for the company's stock, despite it posting a 1.8 percent rise
in first-half revenue on an organic basis.
On the positive side, Essilor climbed 4.9 percent
after the world's largest maker of opthalmic lenses forecast
full-year revenue growth of more than 13 percent excluding
currency effects following a 7.9 percent rise in first-half
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(Editing by Crispian Balmer)