The broad-based major European markets closed mixed in Thursday's trading session, as banks and utilities buoyed the Frankfurt and Paris indices, while the London exchange ended the day lower.
In economic news, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.6% in both the euro area (EA19) and the EU28 during Q3, compared with the previous quarter, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In Q2, GDP grew by 0.7% in both areas. Compared with the same quarter last year, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 2.6% in both the euro area and the EU28 in Q3, after rising 2.4% in both zones in Q2.
Eurostat also reported that the overall tax-to-GDP ratio, which is the sum of taxes and net social contributions as a percentage of GDP, stood at 40.0% in the European Union (EU) in 2016, up from 39.7% in 2015. In the euro area, tax revenue accounted for 41.3% of GDP in 2016, slightly up from 41.2% in 2015.
In the UK, house prices between September and November were 2.4% higher than in the previous quarter of June to August, marking the fastest price growth since January. Prices in the three months to November were 3.9% higher than in the same period last year, although the annual change in November was lower than in October (4.5%).
House prices rose by 0.5% between October and November, following a 0.3% increase in October marking the fifth consecutive monthly rise. The average price of GBP226,821 ($303,000) is 3.2% higher than in January (GPP219,741).
"The imbalance between supply and demand continues to support house prices, which doesn't look like changing in the near future," said Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax Community Bank, in a statement. "Further ahead, increasing affordability issues, as price increases continue to outstrip wage growth, are likely to curb housing demand and cause price growth to ease."
In Germany, production in industry was down 1.4% in October from the previous month on a price, seasonally and working day adjusted basis, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). In September, the corrected figure shows a decrease of 0.9% from August. In October, production in industry excluding energy and construction was down by 2.0%. Within industry, the production of capital goods decreased by 2.7%, and the production of consumer goods fell by 2.6%. The production of intermediate goods showed a decrease of 1.0%. Energy production was up by 5.1% in October 2017, and production in construction decreased by 1.3%.
Destatis also reported that turnover in the main construction industry in September was up 0.8% compared with the corresponding month of the previous year. At the end of September, the number of persons employed by main construction industry entrepreneurs was up 2.0% compared to a year earlier.
And in Spain, the annual variation of the Housing Price Index in Q3 increased 1.1 points and stands at 6.7%, according to the Spanish Statistical Institute (INE). The annual rate of new housing prices is 6.5%, more than two points higher than the previous quarter, and the annual variation of second-hand housing is up almost one point to 6.7%.
In equities, insurance company Admiral Group, and food processing company Associated British Foods led the FTSE lower in London, falling 2.5% each, followed by engineering services provider Babcock International Group, and Direct Line Insurance Group, which lost 2.2% and 2% respectively. British American Tobacco was down 1.9%, while utilities company Centrica closed 1.8% lower.
In Frankfurt, media company Prosiebensat 1 Media led the DAX higher, rising 3.1%, followed by bank Commerzbank, and utilities provider RWE, which climbed 2.3% each. Health care provider Fresenius SE, and automobile manufacturer Volkswagen were up 2.2% and 2.1% respectively, while airline operator Deutsche Lufthansa moved 2% higher. Meanwhile, telecommunications provider Deutsche Telekom, and Deutsche Bank increased 1.7% and 1.6%.
In Paris, banks helped boost the CAC as Credit Agricole, Societe Generale, and BNP Paribas rose 1.9%, 1.3%, and 0.5%. Telecommunications operator Orange led all gainers, climbing 2.3%, while ophthalmic optics company Essilor International, and electricity provider Schneider Electric were up 1.2% and 1% respectively.
The FTSE fell 0.37%, the DAX rose 0.36%, and the CAC-40 gained 0.18%.