European Stocks Narrowly Mixed After Data

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European shares were narrowly mixed, with German stocks just edging out a gain despite weak retail sales.

German retail sales unexpectedly declined 0.8% from September and sales volumes hit the lowest level since December 2012, data from the federal statistics office showed. Economists had forecast an increase of 0.5% on the month.

However, a Eurostat report showed that euro-area unemployment unexpectedly fell in October. The jobless rate declined to 12.1% from 12.2% in September. Economists had predicted it would remain at a record high.

Also, the annual rate of inflation in the eurozone rose to 0.9% from 0.7% in October, the European Union's statistics office said in a preliminary estimate today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 44 economists was for 0.8%.

In other news, U.K. high street lender Nationwide's monthly house price index - which is based the value of the new mortgages it provides each month - rose 0.6% on the month and by 6.5% on the year in November, pushing the average U.K. house price to 174,566 pounds ($284,315).

Standard & Poor's lifted its outlook on Spain to stable from negative.

Standard & Poor's on Friday downgraded its long-term sovereign credit rating on the Netherlands to AA+ from AAA, citing growth concerns.

In ADR news, Telecom Italia ( TI ) was upgraded by analysts at HSBC to Overweight from Neutral. Separately, an activist shareholder campaign to replace the firm's board had little backing from foreign shareholders, according to early voting data seen by Reuters.

Pearson ( PSO ) said it has agreed the sale of The Mergermarket Group to funds advised by BC Partners for an enterprise value of GBP382 million ($620 million), payable in cash.

Ericsson ( ERIC ) was upgraded by analysts at Swedbank to a Buy rating from Neutral.

The FTSE-100 was last down 0.06% at 6,650.57, the DAX up 0.19% at 9,405.30 and the CAC-40 down 0.17% at 4,295.21.



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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: ERIC , PSO , TI

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