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European Stocks Erase Early Losses to End Higher After Strong US Retail Sales

European shares reversed early losses after stronger-than-expected US retail sales.

December sales rose 0.2%, better than forecasts by a Marketwatch.com poll for a 0.1% decline. Sales less autos gained 0.7%, also better than predictions for a 0.4% gain.

Around the region, November eurozone industrial output was 1.8% higher than in October, and 3% higher than the year-earlier month. This was a stronger outcome than expected, with 26 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal last week estimating that output rose 1.4% on the month earlier.

The FTSE-100 felt slight pressure after news UK consumer prices grew 2% in the year to December, down from 2.1% in November and reaching the Bank of England's inflation target for the first time since November 2009. Economists expected inflation to remain at 2.1%.

France's CPI rose 0.3% in December from November, while on a yearly basis they increased 0.7%, Insee said. Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires forecast a 0.4% rise on the month and a 0.8% rise on the year.

France recorded a 1.9 billion euro ($2.6 billion) current account deficit in November from EUR2 billion in October.

Italy's CPI rose in December for the first time in four months, increasing 0.2% from November.

In ADR news, AstraZeneca ( AZN ) said it is predicting a return to growth faster than current analyst expectations.

The FTSE-100 was last up 0.14% at 6,766.86, the DAX up 0.32% at 9,540.51 and the CAC-40 up 0.26% at 4,274.20.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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