Europe close: Stocks finish day on mixed note

Alexander Bueso WebFG News | 17 Jul, 2017 17:43 - Updated: 17:43 | | |

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Stocks ended on a mixed note, with sentiment buoyed by stronger-than-expected economic data out of China overnight and following the release of in-line consumer price data for June.

By the closing bell, the benchmark Stoxx 600 was higher by 0.0.1% or 0.02 points at 386.86, with the German Dax off by 0.35% or 44.56 points to 12,587.16 and the Cac-40 down by 0.10% or 5.14 points to 5,230.17.

The headline rate of Eurozone CPI dipped to 1.3% for June after a reading of 1.4% for May, as expected.

At the 'core' level, which excludes the more volatile food and ebergy components, CPI was up by 0.2% on the month and 1.1% on the year.

Monday's data set the stage for the European Central Bank's policy meeting, on Thursday, at which analysts were hoping for a little more clarity as to the monetary authority's medium-term plans for its asset purchase programme.

Speculation about a possible shift in policy had built-up in markets over the prior few weeks, with some recent reports suggesting ECB chief Mario Draghi was set to signal the Council's intention to begin tapering its asset purchases in 2018 at the Jackson Hole Symposium, in August.

Acting as a backdrop, data from China's National Bureau of Statistics revealed that gross domestic product growth clocked in at 6.9% year-on-year during the second quarter of 2017, the same as in the prior quarter and contrary to expectations for a small slowdown to 6.8%.

Industrial production and retail sales both sped past forecasts in June too.

Shares in Lufthansa were higher on the back of an upwards target price revision out of Credit Suisse from €18.71 to €24.0.

Stock in Telenor ASA snapped higher after the company posted a smaller than expected quarterly loss and announced a share buyback programme.

Germany's Gea was sharply lower after the food-processing machinery manufacturer lowered its guidance for operating profits in 2017.

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