European stocks edged lower in morning deals on Thursday, dragged down by defensive sector, while banking shares got boost from their U.S. counterparts after solid data pushed Treasury yields to their highest level since mid-2011.
The pan-European STOXX 600 tumbled 0.5 percent.
Germany's DAX 30 was 0.1 percent lower at 12,270.07 and France's CAC 40 index dipped 0.3 percent to 5,474.24. Britain's FTSE 100 index fell 0.3 percent to 7,485.19 at the open.
Defensive, consumer and healthcare stocks led the decline with shares of British American Tobacco, Nestle and Novartis lost between 0.6 and 3.7 percent. Their declines were partly compensate by surge in banking sector.
German banks Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank advanced 1.9 and 1.5 percent respectively, as German 10-year bond yields breached a 4-1/2 month top.
Shares in Danske Bank dropped 2.3 percent after the U.S. Department of Justice opened a probe into a 200 billion euro money laundering scandal involving its Estonian unit.