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European stocks edge lower, dragged down by retail sector

Stocks in Europe fell again in morning deals on Monday as a profit warning from online fashion retailer ASOS pushed retail stocks in negative territory as investors worried that shoppers are failing to deliver the classical pre-Christmas spending surge to markets.

Photo: Reuters

Euro zone stocks slid 0.4 percent while Germany's DAX inched down 0.1 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent.

Shares in ASOS slumped 41 percent after the British online fashion retailer downgraded its outlooks, saying November was dramatically behind anticipations.

Shares of Zalando, a German peer of ASOS and Europe’s largest online retailer, tumbled 15.3 percent, the biggest STOXX 600 decliners.

Sweden-based retailer H&M dropped 3.8 percent despite posting in-line sales numbers, as the Asos risks spread. Next and Marks & Spencer edged down 3.7 percent and 2.4 percent.

Innogy shares dipped 2 percent and SSE lost 1.6 percent after the two energy companies reconsidered plans to merge their energy retail businesses, saying they could not reach a deal on new commercial conditions after Britain’s regulator proposed a limit on energy bills.

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