European stocks remain lower, BoE in focus; Dax down 0.05%

A A A - European stocks remained broadly lower on Thursday, as markets were jittery ahead of the Bank of England's policy statement later in the day, while Wednesday's positive German data eased expectations for an additional rate cut by the European Central Bank.

During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 declined 0.44%, France's CAC 40 retreated 0.73%, while Germany's DAX 30 eased 0.05%.

German industrial output jumped 1.2% in March data on Wednesday showed, confounding expectations for a 0.1% decline.

The data fuelled optimism over the outlook for first quarter growth in the euro zone's largest economy after Germany's gross domestic product contracted by 0.5% in the three months to December.

The data also dampened speculation over the possibility of further rate cuts by the ECB after the bank indicated Monday that further rate cuts were possible.

Financial stocks turned broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale slipped 0.11% and 0.20%, while Germany's Commerzbank tumbled 1.50%.

Among peripheral lenders, Spanish bank Banco Santander slid 0.36%, while Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit plummeted 1% and 1.82% respectively.

On the upside, Nokia saw shares jump 1.14%, extending earlier gains after the Finnish cellphone company unveiled new software to run its Asha devices and a pact that lets customers use Facebook for free on their handsets.

In London, FTSE 100 dipped 0.04%, as investors remained cautious ahead of the BoE's policy statement.

Mining stocks remained mostly higher, as shares in BHP Billiton rallied 1.18%, while Anglo American gained 0.83% and Evraz climbed 0.53%.

Meanwhile, financial stocks added to gains, as the Royal Bank of Scotland advanced 1.24% and Barclays jumped 1.31%, while Lloyds Banking surged 2.10%

HSBC Holdings underperformed on the other hand, declining 0.88%, extending earlier losses.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady to lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.02% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.05% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.10% fall.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release official data on initial jobless claims. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.
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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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