Healthcare, tech stocks pressure European shares; miners outperform

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Jan 20 (Reuters) - European shares slipped on Thursday, as gains in mining stocks and fourth-quarter earnings optimism were outweighed by a decline in defensive and technology stocks amid persisting worries around inflation and interest rate hikes.

The pan-European STOXX 600 skid 0.3% after positive trading updates and commodity prices helped spark a rebound in shares in its previous session.

On Thursday, China stepped up its monetary easing efforts by cutting its mortgage reference rate for the first time in nearly two years, following a surprise cut to the central bank's rate for one-year medium-term loans on Monday.

China-exposed miners outperformed the benchmark, rising 0.6%, while healthcare stocks lost 0.7% and rate-sensitive tech stocks fell 0.5%.

Deliveroo (DROOF) jumped 3.7% after saying the gross value of orders on its platform rose 36% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, resulting in the food delivery company hitting the top of its guidance range with a 70% rise for the year.

Metal-cutting tools and mining gear maker Sandvik (SDVKF) advanced 1.3% after posting quarterly earnings just above analysts' expectations and noting strong demand.

Unilever (UL) climbed 1.6% after abandoning its plans to buy GlaxoSmithKline's consumer healthcare business, saying it would not raise its 50 billion pound ($68 billion) offer that GSK previously rejected. (Reporting by Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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