European stocks slipped on Thursday, hurt by grim macro data from Europe, China and the United States, although shares bounced off the day's lows as a number of investors took advantage of the pullback to lift their exposure to equities.
The FTSEurofirst 300index of top European shares closed 0.1 percent lower at 1,114.89 points, after falling by as much as 0.7 percent during the session.
"For now, this is a pause in the rally, not the start of a correction. Investors are taking a breather. Indexes are testing key support levels and they are holding," FXCM analyst Nicolas Cheron said.
"The idea here is to buy the dips, knowing that the Fed and BCE are out there to support the economy."
The euro zone bank index, which has jumped around 50 percent since late July, fell 2.1 percent on Thursday, with Banco Popolare down 4.4 percent and Societe Generale down 2.2 percent.
Cyclical miners also featured among the biggest fallers, with Anglo American down 4.6 percent and Rio Tinto down 2.9 percent.