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European stocks declined on Wednesday. Besides the German IFO business climate data Greece remains in the focus. Officials reported that the Greek government will present an updated list with planned reforms on Monday 30th to its Eurozone creditors.
The business climate in Eurozone's largest economy rose more-than-expected and is a strong sign that the economic recovery is on track and the QE program of the ECB starts to have positive effects. The index increased for a fifth consecutive month. A day earlier data showed that growth in manufacturing and services accelerated.
The IFO index is based on a survey of 7,000 executives who evaluate the relative level of doing business and expectations for the next 6 months. Companies are confident as the weak euro, low financing costs and robust growth of the U.S. economy
The IFO - Business Climate for the month of March improved from 106.8 to 107.9 beating estimates of an increase to 107.4. Data on the IFO - Current Assessment came in at 112.0, compared to a previous reading of 111.3. IFO - Expectations rose from 102.5 to 103.9.
Today data on Mortgage Approvals came in above estimates easing concerns over U.K.'s housing sector. The housing market is supported by record low interest rates.
The number of new mortgages rose to 37,300 in February, a 5-month high, from revised 36,500 in January. Analysts expected an increase to 36,900.
The FTSE 100 index is currently trading lower, quoted at 7,008.33 -0.16%. Germany's DAX 30 lost -0.64% trading at 11,929.41 points - the export heavy index is weighed down by a stronger euro. France's CAC 40 is currently trading at 5,046.97 points, -0.81%.
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