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12.03.2015 17:02

European stocks close: stocks closed little changed on Thursday

Stock indices closed little changed on Thursday. Quantitative easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) still supports markets. The ECB had started to purchase government bonds on Monday.

Industrial production in the Eurozone declined 0.1% in January, missing expectations for a 0.3% increase, after a 0.3% rise in December. That was the first decrease in five months.

December's figure was revised up from a flat reading.

On a yearly basis, Eurozone's industrial production rose 1.2% in January, after a 0.6% increase in December. December's figure was revised up from a 0.2 decrease.

These figures indicate that GDP growth in the Eurozone will remain weak in the first quarter.

The Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mark Carney said in a speech in Sheffield that a stronger pound and low global inflation could weigh on inflation in the U.K. for some time. He added that a persistent period of low global inflation is possible, driven by lower oil prices and a slowdown in global demand.

Carney pointed out that future interest rate hike might depend on events overseas. "The pace and degree of these increases will be affected by a variety of factors, including the evolution of foreign prices and our exchange rate, as well as domestic cost pressures", the BoE governor said.

The U.K. trade deficit in goods narrowed to £8.4 billion in January from £9.9 billion in December, beating expectations for a deficit of £9.7 billion. That was the lowest level since March 2014.

December's figure was revised up from a deficit of £10.2 billion.

The decline was driven by higher service exports and lower oil imports.

Exports fell by £1 billion, while imports declined by £2.5 billion. The decline in imports was the largest monthly decline since July 2006.

Indexes on the close:

Name Price Change Change %

FTSE 100 6,761.07 +39.56 +0.59 %

DAX 11,799.39 -6.60 -0.06 %

CAC 40 4,987.33 -10.42 -0.21 %

Market Focus

  • The eurozone started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to PMI survey data
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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