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Stock indices closed higher on speculation the European Central Bank will add further stimulus measures. Eurostat released its inflation data fort the Eurozone on today. The inflation declined to an annual rate of -0.2% in December from 0.3% in November. That was the lowest level since October 2009. Analysts had expected a flat reading.
The decline was driven by falling oil prices. Energy prices dropped 6.3% in December.
The inflation excluding food and energy costs increased to an annual rate of 0.8% in December from 0.7% in November.
These figures are adding to pressure on the ECB. Investors speculate that the European Central Bank could decide on its policy meeting on January 22 to purchase government bonds.
Eurozone's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 11.5% in November, in line with expectations.
The number of unemployed people in Germany declined by 27,000 in December, beating expectations for a 6,000 decline, after a 16,000 drop in November. November's figure was revised up from a 14,000 decrease.
Germany's adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.5% in December from 6.6% in November. Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.
German adjusted retail sales climbed 1.0% in November, exceeding expectations for a 0.2% rise, after a 2.0% gain in October. October's figure was revised up from a 1.9% increase.
Political uncertainty in Greece still weighed on the euro.
Indexes on the close:
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 6,419.83 +53.32 +0.84%
DAX 9,518.18 +48.52 +0.51%
CAC 40 4,112.73 +29.23 +0.72%
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