European Stocks Retreat After 7 Sessions of Gains


European shares steadied on Thursday after rising for the past seven sessions, with gains in airlines stocks offset by weaker miners and a slump in British engineering group Cobham following a poor update.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was little changed in percentage terms at 371.34 points by 0821 GMT after recent strong gains to a two-month high in the previous session.

Cobham slumped more than 21 percent to its lowest since late 2004 and headed for its biggest-ever daily fall. The company said it would take a 150 million pound ($187 million) charge on its work on Boeing's troubled KC-46 tanker programme and downgraded its likely 2016 trading profit again.

European miners fell 0.9 percent, the biggest sectoral decliners, tracking weaker metals prices.

However, losses were offset by a rally in airline stocks after Air France-KLM reported better than expected operating profit for 2016 and said it had made a "resilient" start to 2017.

Shares in International Consolidates Airlines Group and Lufthansa rose 2.2 and 2.4 percent higher respectively to feature among top risers on the STOXX 600.

IT services group Capgemini was up 3.3 percent after saying that it was targeting higher earnings in 2017.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Toby Chopra)