European stocks slipped, paring a weekly gain, as miners and energy companies retreated.
A gauge of commodity producers posted the biggest decline of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index as Societe Generale SA said iron ore prices may extend losses. BHP Billiton Ltd. slid 2.6 percent. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA contributed the most to a drop in energy stocks, as oil prices fell.

The Stoxx 600 declined 0.2 percent to 397.8 at the close of trading, paring its weekly gain to 0.6 percent. Shares briefly erased losses after U.S. factory-order data beat forecasts. The equity gauge has jumped 16 percent this year amid optimism European Central Bank stimulus will revive the region’s economy, while a weakening euro will boost profits. The rally propelled valuations to the highest in at least a decade last month.

ECB minutes released today showed policy makers are prepared to alter the pace of bond-buying if necessary. While Governing Council members currently deem the scope of their quantitative-easing program appropriate, this assessment may change over time as higher-than-usual uncertainty surrounds current economic projections, according to the minutes of the group’s March 4-5 meeting.

Source : Bloomberg