European stocks drifted, setting the tone for global equities as investors decide whether a recent rally is correcting or merely taking a break. Basic metals continued to slide.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged lower for a fourth day, as the region’s utility companies retreated while mining shares bounced. Trading volumes were 18 percent below the intraday average of the past 30 days. Futures for the S&P 500 also slipped following a drop in U.S. equities on Monday, when JPMorgan Chase & Co. warned that hawkish Federal Reserve rhetoric has increased the chances of a short-term pullback. Copper, iron ore and zinc paced the retreat in metals.
Bets the global economy is strong enough to withstand rising borrowing costs helped stoke stock gauges to records last week, even as a U.S. interest rate hike this month seemed to become a near certainty. With valuations on the S&P 500 near the highest since 2002 and after the longest weekly rally in 16 months, investors now seem to be waiting for a fresh catalyst.
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