|Reuters. Main WSE index WIG20 is seen at the Stock Exchange in Warsaw|
LONDON (Reuters) - European shares succumbed once again to trade tensions and political concerns on Thursday ahead of a tense European Union summit after the stock market enjoyed a brief respite from selling in the previous session.
The pan-European STOXX 600 (STOXX) was down 0.1 percent by 0725 GMT, while Germany's trade-sensitive DAX (GDAXI) managed a 0.1 percent gain.
Financials and mining shares were the biggest drags on the market, while high dividend-paying consumer staples stocks such as Nestle (S:NESN) and Unilever (L:ULVR), considered safer in times of market stress, made gains.
The pan-European banks sector (SX7P) fell 0.3 percent, extending its sharp losses this week with HSBC (L:HSBA), UBS (S:UBSG) and Credit Suisse (S:CSGN) among the biggest fallers. Miners (SXPP) declined 0.6 percent.
Oil stocks outperformed after crude prices hit a 3 1/2 year high on unplanned supply disruptions and record demand. The oil sector (SXEP) has been the best-performing in the region this year, up 10.5 percent year-to-date.
In big single-stock movers, H&M (ST:HMb) shares fell 3.4 percent after the world's second-biggest fashion retailer reported a slightly bigger fall than expected in second-quarter pretax profit and flagged higher markdown levels in the third quarter after inventories grew again.
French utility Suez (PA:SEVI) declined 3.4 percent after Berenberg cut its rating on the stock to hold from buy.
UK-listed South African stocks Investec (L:INVP), Old Mutual Limited (L:OMU) and Mediclinic (L:MDCM) were among the biggest fallers, dented by a decline in the rand