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29.04.2015 16:00

European stocks close: stocks closed lower on a stronger euro

Stock indices closed lower on a stronger euro. The euro rose against the U.S. dollar as the U.S. GDP was weaker than expected. The U.S. preliminary gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 0.2% in the first quarter, missing expectations for a 1.3% gain, after a 2.2% rise in the fourth quarter.

U.S. consumers spending slowed in the first quarter due to cold weather. Energy companies in the U.S. cut spending due to lower low prices.

A strong U.S. dollar also weighed on GDP.

Investors are awaiting the results of the Fed's monetary policy meeting later in the day. They are awaiting signs when the Fed will start to hike its interest rate. It is unlikely that the Fed will start to raise its interest rate in June as the recently released U.S. economic data was weaker than expected.

The Greek debt focus remains in focus. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis denied in an interview to the German newspaper Die Zeit on Wednesday that he was sidelined from debt talks between Greece and its creditors.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reshuffled his team negotiating with European and IMF creditors on Monday. Deputy Foreign Minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, was appointed co-coordinator of the team.

The European Commission released its economic sentiment index for the Eurozone on Wednesday. The index declined to 103.7 in April from 103.9 in March, missing expectations for a rise to 104.1. It was the first decline in five months.

The European Central Bank (ECB) released its M3 money supply figures on Wednesday. M3 money supply rose 4.6% in March from last year, exceeding expectations for a 4.2% gain, after a 4 % increase in February.

On a yearly basis, M3 money supply in the Eurozone climbed to 4.1% from 3.8% in the period from December to February.

Loans to the private sector in the Eurozone increased 0.1% in March from the last year, in line with expectations, after a 0.1% decline in February. It was the first increase since March 2012.

The rise was driven by ECB's quantitative easing.

Indexes on the close:

Name Price Change Change %

FTSE 100 6,946.28 -84.25 -1.20 %

DAX 11,432.72 -378.94 -3.21 %

CAC 40 5,039.39 -133.99 -2.59 %

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  • Australian unemployment rate stable at 5.6% in June
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