European stocks closed off their highest levels on Wednesday, on mounting evidence of slowing economic activity on the continent, while strong gains in Roche Pharmaceuticals lifted the Swiss stock index to a one-week high.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.4% at the close, after rising 0.8% on the day to a one-week high.
A survey showed that business activity in the euro zone increased more than expected this month, specifically in Germany, the largest European economy, but it prompted dealers to increase their bets that the European Central Bank would stop raising interest rates in September, according to Reuters.
The figures showed consumer confidence in the eurozone fell by 0.9 points in August compared to July.
The Stoxx 600 is heading for its worst monthly performance so far this year.
Shares of energy companies fell 1.1%, following the path of declining crude oil prices, while shares of (Puma), (Adidas) and (JD Sports Fashion) plunged between 3.3% and 5.4%, following the impact of the American (Foot Locker), which fell due to Lower its annual forecast due to weak demand amid continued high inflation.
The Swiss stock index rose 0.9%, as Roche jumped 3.8% after it inadvertently published positive data for lung cancer drug trials from an interim analysis, but more data will be required to confirm the drug’s efficacy.
The share of (Novo Nordisk) company also rose 2.7%, contributing to raising the health care sector by 1.1%.