By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- European stocks lost ground Thursday, with investors awaiting euro-zone quarterly growth figures following dreary economic updates from Germany and France.
Dismal data: Early Thursday, German data showed Europe's largest economy contracted 0.2% in the three months to June. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected the economy to shrink 0.1% in the quarter, and expand 1.4% in annual terms.
The French economy, the second-largest in the euro zone, logged no growth, missing expectations for expansion of 0.1% in the second quarter from the first. Gross domestic product in the same period last year rose 0.1%.
Eurostat, the statistics bureau of the European Commission, will release its preliminary, second-quarter GDP report for euro-zone nations at 10 a.m. London time, or 5 a.m. Eastern Time. Economists expects quarter-over-quarter growth of 0.1%, and 0.7% in annual terms, according to FactSet.
Meanwhile, inflation levels in the euro zone are "dangerously low," said James Hughes, chief market analyst at Alpari UK, in a note. "With the numbers remaining terrible there will be added pressure for [ECB President] Mario Draghi to do the only thing he hasn't already put into the economy and that is a round of quantitative easing," he said. QE "could not only be the only way out for the euro zone, it's also all they have left in their arsenal."
Markets: The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.2% to 329.30. Germany's DAX 30 fell 0.3% to 9,169.48, and France's CAC 40 declined 0.5%. The yield on Germany's 10-year bond briefly dipped below 1%, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
The euro (EURUSD) slipped to $1.3358 from $1.3365 late Wednesday.
Among individual stocks, shares of RWE AG fell 3% after the German power provider's first-half operating earnings fell more than 40% to fell more than 40% to 2.27 billion euros, below expectations.
ThyssenKrupp AG shares rose 1.7% as the Germany steel products maker raised its 2014 profit outlook after swinging to a profit in the third quarter.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 14, 2014 04:45 ET (08:45 GMT)
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