(RTTNews) - French stocks were moving lower on Thursday, with an element of caution coming from the United States sanctioning China over military action in the disputed South China Sea and the upcoming speech from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
The benchmark CAC 40 dropped 30 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,019 after rising 0.8 percent on Wednesday.
Advertising group Publicis Groupe SA advanced 1.2 percent as WPP, the world's largest advertising group by sales, returned to paying dividends after cost cuts and a switch to faster ad production.
Bouygues soared 4.2 percent. After reporting a first-half net loss, the industrial group stated that it will return to significant profitability in the second half of 2020, without reaching the particularly high levels of second half 2019.
In economic releases, French business sentiment continued to improve in August as confidence picked up in almost all sub-sectors, monthly survey data from the statistical office Insee showed.
Another industrial investment survey from the Insee showed that business managers downgraded their investment outlook for this year as they projected a double-digit contraction.
The business confidence index for manufacturers rose more-than-expected to 93 in August from 82 in July. The expected reading was 85.
Business managers' assessment of past activity climbed sharply with the index rising to -2 from -41.
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