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PARIS: Miners and energy stocks dragged Europe’s benchmark index marginally lower on Monday, hurt by weak commodity prices, after the benchmark index notched strong gains last week on escalating bets of interest rate cuts.

The pan-European STOXX 600 slipped 0.1%, after touching a fresh four-month high in early trade and posting its third straight weekly gain on Friday.

Miners shed 2.4% as a stronger US dollar weighed on copper prices, while energy stocks fell 1.6% after oil prices slid amid persistent pressure from the OPEC+ decision on supply cuts and uncertainty over global fuel demand growth.

Investors will keep an eye out for a slew of data this week, including eurozone PMI, producer prices, retail sales and gross domestic product, to gauge the inflation and economic outlook.

Further, the US November payrolls report this week, will be on the radar following remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday that bolstered expectations that key policy rates have peaked.

A continued easing in inflation across major economies has fuelled speculations that interest rates globally could come down quicker than previously thought, boosting stocks, although multiple central bank officials have pushed back against such bets.

Europe’s STOXX 600 has risen nearly 10% year-to-date, underperforming the US benchmark S&P 500’s near-20% jump, which was also aided by strong enthusiasm around artificial intelligence stocks and better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.

“European stocks will continue to fall behind their US peers because we do have the rate cut expectations, but those in the euro zone don’t show a soft landing,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst, Swissquote Bank.

“Growth in the US is still above average, whereas in Europe, we’re talking about contraction or at best a stagnation... So there’s a greater chance to see the ECB cut rates first than the Fed.” Among individual stocks, Nokia fell 6.5%, with an analyst pointing to market speculation indicating AT&T may remove the Finnish provider of mobile network technology from its vendor list.

Roche gained 2.8% after agreeing to take over obesity drug developer Carmot Therapeutics for $2.7 billion, steering a 0.5% gain in the healthcare sector.

Rolls-Royce and Proximus jumped 3.1% and 1.0%, respectively, after J.P. Morgan upgraded the engineering company and the Belgian telecom group’s stocks to “Overweight” from “Neutral” each.

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