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European stocks steady ahead of industrial production data; Dax up 0.02%

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Shutterstock photo - - European stocks were steady on Thursday, as investors eyed an upcoming report on euro zone industrial production, while the World Bank's recent decision to lower its outlook for global economic growth continued to weigh on equity markets.

During European morning trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 dipped 0.01%, France's CAC 40 eased up 0.01%, while Germany's DAX inched 0.02% higher.

Late Tuesday, the World Bank said tensions in Ukraine and bad weather in the U.S. weighed on global economic expansion in the first half of 2014 and estimated the global economy would grow 2.8% this year, down from a previous forecast of 3.2% made in January.

Separately, euro zone bonds rallied in recent sessions, highlighting the diverging monetary policy stance between the European Central Bank and other central banks.

The ECB cut all its main rates to record lows on Thursday and for the first time imposed negative deposit rates on commercial lenders, in a bid to stave off the risk of deflation in the euro zone.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) and BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) slipped 0.25% and 0.22%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) fell 0.16%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) slid 0.33% and 0.35% respectively, while Spanish bank Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) edged down 0.11%.

Elsewhere, Airbus Group (PARIS:AIR) slid 0.38% as it was set to show its Airbus A380 to analysts and investors in New York on Thursday, including a promotional flight over the city, with hopes of enticing U.S. airlines.

The move came a day after Emirates canceled its entire order for A350 aircraft valued at $16 billion. The Dubai-based carrier had announced the deal in 2007 and the airliners were due for delivery from 2019.

In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 edged down 0.14%, weighed by losses in energy and mining stocks.

Anglo American (LONDON:AAL) led losses on the index, with shares diving 3.07%. Mining giants Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) and Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) weren't far behind, down 1.59% and 1.56% respectively, while rivals Vedanta Resources (LONDON:VED) and Fresnillo (LONDON:FRES) lost 1.22% and 0.95%.

Sainsbury (LONDON:SBRY) was also on the downside, plummeting 1.58%, after reporting on Wednesday the second straight drop in same-store sales after nine years of growth.

In the financial sector, stocks were mixed. Shares in Barclays (LONDON:BARC) eased 0.09% and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) dropped 0.59%, while HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) rose 0.23% and Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) gained 0.71%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow 30futures pointed to a 0.01% uptick, S&P 500futures signaled a 0.02% gain, while the Nasdaq 100futures indicated a 0.03% rise.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release the weekly report on initial jobless claims, in addition to data on retail sales and import prices. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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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