European shares fell on Friday, ahead of a speech due to be delivered by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that may offer hints about the timetable for slowing his bond-buying program.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 0.2 percent in early trading, with the travel and leisure and banking sectors leading the declines, after they achieved gains for most of the week.
Investors are focused squarely on Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole summit scheduled for 1400 GMT after fresh calls for an early cut in stimulus from a number of US central bank policy makers who tend to tighten monetary policy have unsettled investors.
European and US stocks are near record levels, but concerns about the highly contagious mutated delta strain of the coronavirus, slowing economic momentum and a gradual scaling back of stimulus have weighed on investor sentiment recently.
A survey revealed that French consumer confidence fell slightly in August, pushing the CAC 40 index of blue chips down 0.3 percent.
Just It Takeaway.com, which owns TryHub, fell 2.3 percent after the New York City Council approved legislation to license food delivery apps and put a permanent cap on the commissions they can get from restaurants.