Banks and health care shares fell Thursday while long-dated government bonds recovered as investors continued to step back from the most popular U.S. postelection trades.

The Stoxx Europe 600 was down less than 0.1% in the early minutes of trading, as a decline in the banking and health care sectors ?which had been among the best performers since Donald Trump's win?outweighed gains in utilities and telecom companies, which are considered bond-proxies.

Investors had poured money into banks and out of government bonds for nearly a week on the expectation that Mr. Trump's election would mean more expansive fiscal policy, higher inflation, and ultimately higher interestrates, but that rally began to stall on Wednesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped its winning streak.

Markets in Asia were subdued Thursday, while futures pointed to a small opening loss for the S&P 500.

Many investors were looking ahead to testimony from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen later in the day, as she makes her first post-election remarks before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee.

In government bond markets, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note continued to decline Thursday to 2.198% from 2.222 on Wednesday, when it snapped six straight days of gains. 10-year Japanese bond yields fell to 0.004% after the Bank of Japan offered to buy an unlimited amount of Japanese government bonds at fixed rates for the first time since it introduced its new policy. Yields move inversely to prices.

The dollar was slightly lower against most major currencies including the yen and British pound after touching a 13-year high on Wednesday.

The euro inched up 0.1% against the dollar to $1.0711 after falling to its lowest afternoon rate in nearly a year, as investors looked ahead to minutes from the European Central Bank's October policy meeting due later Thursday.

-Takashi Nakamichi contributed to this article

Write to Riva Gold at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 17, 2016 04:15 ET (09:15 GMT)

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