July 22, 2016 / 8:16 AM / 3 years ago

European shares slip as miners weaken and Skanska skids

(ADVISORY- Follow European and UK stock markets in real time on the Reuters Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets)

* Skanska falls as Q2 earnings miss forecasts

* But Vodafone rises after Q1 revenue figures

* STOXX up off post-Brexit lows, but still down 7 pct in 2016

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) - European stock markets slipped on Friday, weighed down by falls in mining companies and Swedish construction group Skanska.

The pan-European STOXX 600 and the similar FTSEurofirst 300 were both down by 0.4 percent.

Mining stocks fell as copper prices eased back.

Skanska also dropped 5 percent after the company posted second-quarter earnings below market forecasts. [nL8N1A80P2

Shares in British mobile operator Vodafone and French defence electronics group Thales both climbed after reporting better-than-expected business figures.

The STOXX 600 index is up by around 10 percent from a low point reached in June in the immediate aftermath of Britain’s shock vote to quit the European Union, but the index remains down by around 7 percent since the start of 2016.

Hantec Markets’ analyst Richard Perry said European stocks were starting to stall after that rebound from the June low, due to uncertainty over ‘Brexit’ and the timing of any new central bank measures that may be taken to spur the economy.

The European Central Bank (ECB) kept interest rates unchanged at record lows on Thursday but left the door open to more policy stimulus, highlighting risks to the economic outlook.

“There’s been some renewed selling pressure on equities given this state of uncertainty, and the ECB has not dispelled that with its ‘wait-and-see’ policy,” Perry said.

“Equities should rally further down the road when more monetary easing kicks in, but they are unlikely to make much progress in August,” he added.

Rupert Baker, a European equity sales executive at Mirabaud Securities, said there were some concerns over the extent to which equities had been held up solely on expectations of more help from central banks, rather than any underlying improvement in corporate earnings or the economy.

“People are a bit worried that we’re only being held up by the happy gas of negative interest rates,” he said. (Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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