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31.03.2015 17:50

European stock markets mid-session: Indices decline on Greek worries

European stocks turn negative on Tuesday. Stalling negotiations between Greece and the E.U. weigh on the markets as the country is struggling to unlock more bailout funds. European stocks are still up for the best quarter in years fuelled by the ECB's quantitative easing program. A weak euro and falling energy prices further helped European indices to book gains.

Data on German Retail Sales (real adjusted) came in at -0.5%, declining less than the estimated -0.9%. The January reading was revised from 2.9% to 2.3%. Retail Sales (real unadjusted) declined year on year from revised 5.0% to 3.6%, growing at a slower pace than the predicted 3.7%.

French Consumer Spending rose less than expected in February. Data came in at 0.1% comaed to forecasts of 0.3% and a previous reading of 0.7%. Year on year consumer spending rose from 2.6% to 3.0%.

The Unemployment Rate in Germany, Europe's powerhouse and biggest economy of the Eurozone, fell to a record low in in March, the German labour agency reported today. The rate dropped from a previous reading of 6.5% in February to 6.4% in March - Analyst expected an unchanged reading. The number of unemployed people shrank by 15,000 to 2.8 million, more than the predicted decline by 10,000. The data clearly shows the positive momentum in Germany. The countries' businesses profit from a low euro boosting exports and low energy costs.

U.K.'s GDP for the fourth quarter rose more than estimated. Data came in at 0.6% compared to a previous reading of 0.5% and above the estimated unchanged reading. Year on year the GDP rose 3.0%, beating estimates of a flat reading of 2.7%.

Eurozone's Unemployment fell from 11.4% to 11.3%. Analyst expected the reading to be unchanged.

Eurozone's Harmonized CPI declined year on year with a reading of -0.1%, beating estimates of -0.3% for March.

The commodity heavy FTSE 100 index is currently trading -0.84% quoted at 6,833.24 points. Germany's DAX 30 is trading at 12,016.22 points -0.58%. The DAX has risen almost 23% in the first quarter - the most in a quarter since 2003. France's CAC 40 is currently trading at 5,073.35 points, -0.20%.

Market focus

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  • The sentix overall index for Euro Area fell again in November from 11.4 to 8.8 points
  • UK consumer credit increased by £0.8bn in September
  • Spanish unemployment continues at its lowest levels in the last 9 years
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