European shares slip for fifth day on weakness in banks, consumer staples

  • STOXX 600 falls for fifth straight day, off 0.2%
  • British American Tobacco warns of higher finance costs
  • Hopes run high for Credit Suisse multibillion cash call

Dec 8 (Reuters) - European shares fell for the fifth straight session on Thursday, bogged down by weakness in banks and consumer staples amid growing fears of an impending recession.

The region-wide STOXX 600 (.STOXX) slipped 0.2%, with investors jittery ahead of a slew of interest rate decisions from major central banks, including from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank next week.

"We're in a wait-and-see mode at the moment. Next week is a huge week for all markets and that is really going to set the tone between now and year-end," said Hugh Gimber, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management in London.

"There is a little bit too much excitement in the market at the moment as to how quickly the central banks are going to be able to slow the pace of tightening because inflation is still too high," he said. "That's very very clear in both the eurozone and the UK."

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde is also due to speak at an event later in the day.

Financials were a big drag on the pan-European STOXX 600 index, with banks (.SX7E) falling for their fourth consecutive session.

The London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSEG.L) dropped 6.4% as UBS cut its rating and price target.

Consumer staples stocks also fell, with British American Tobacco (BATS.L) down 3.1% after the tobacco firm said it expects net finance costs to top 1.6 billion pounds ($1.95 billion) in FY22 due to rising interest rates globally and a strong dollar.

However, China's loosening of its strict COVID-19 curbs boosted sectors such as energy (.SXEP) and miners (.SXPP), which rose 0.2% and 1.2%, respectively, tracking oil and metal prices higher.

Also limiting losses, technology stocks (.SX8P) snapped their four-day losing streak, boosted by a recovery in semiconductor stocks.

Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) headed into the final stage of a 4 billion Swiss francs ($4.25 billion) cash call that it hopes will allow an overhaul to draw a line under years of scandals. Shares of the Swiss bank rose 3.2%.

($1 = 0.8211 pounds)

Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru Editing by Janane Venkatraman and Matthew Lewis

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