Europe ends flat as miners, luxury stocks weigh; inflation optimism cools



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* Miners, banks, luxury stocks lead declines

* U.S. core consumer prices slow sharply in August

* Pandora up after boosting earnings target, buyback

* JD Sports jumps after profit surge

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Sept 14 (Reuters) - European stocks ended flat on Tuesday, with miners, banks and luxury stocks leading declines as optimism over cooling U.S. inflation growth in August proved to be short-lived.

The region-wide STOXX 600 index .STOXX inched 0.01% lower, with the basic resources sector .SXPP index dropping 1.9% and banks .SX7P sliding 1.1%.

"Having got off to a positive start yesterday, today's price action looks set to follow the pattern of last week, where after a similar Monday rally, sentiment deteriorated as concerns about profit margins in the face of rising prices saw certain sectors come under further pressure," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Luxury stocks, including LVMH LVMH.PA , Kering PRTP.PA , Richemont CFR.S and Burberry BRBY.L , fell between 1.9% and 3%, tracking moves in Asia on concerns about the spread of COVID-19 cases in China.

"Ongoing China coronavirus concerns and lockdowns in several cities in Fujian are not helping sentiment," said Mark Taylor, sales trader at Mirabaud Securities.

Home to many luxury names, France's CAC 40 .FCHI fell 0.4%, while the UK's miner-heavy FTSE 100 .FTSE shed 0.5%.

Still, many strategists expect European equities to outperform this year due to relatively high rate of vaccinations and catch-up trade in cheaper segments of the market such as banks and energy.

Data earlier in the day showed underlying U.S. consumer prices increased at their slowest pace in six months in August, suggesting that inflation had probably peaked, though it could remain high for a while amid persistent supply constraints.

The report supported sentiment for a brief while in midday trading as investors were hopeful that the U.S. Federal Reserve would likely delay its announcement of cutting back monetary stimulus.

"While we initially saw markets spike on the prospect of a more patient Federal Reserve, we have since seen traders realise that today's data is unlikely to push the Fed to change course," said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG.

Pandora PNDORA.CO , the world's largest jewellery maker, rose 6.8% after it boosted its earnings target for the coming years and lifted its share buyback plan.

JD Sports Fashion JD.L jumped 9.7% after it reported a record first-half profit as lockdowns eased and people visited its shops in Britain.

Dutch specialty chemicals maker DSM DSMN.AS hit a record high after it said it was weighing the sale of its materials division.

Danish brewer Carlsberg CARLb.CO fell 3.5% after a double downgrade to "sell" by Berenberg.
Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Gareth Jones

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