The European markets are mostly lower in afternoon trading Thursday, after a mixed bag of economic data out of the U.S. in the previous session reduced hopes of further monitory easing.
China's Premier Wen Jiabao said the economy is still under pressure, despite some positive signs in some sectors, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday.
During a two-day inspection tour to Zhejiang Province, Jiabao said the foundation for stable economic growth is still fragile and the economic hardships may continue for some more time.
Eurozone annual inflation remained stable at 2.4 percent in July, final data from Eurostat showed. The rate also matched flash estimate. On a monthly basis, consumer prices were down 0.5 percent in July.
U.K. retail sales grew 0.3 percent in July from a month ago, data from the Office for National Statistics showed. Economists had forecast a slight 0.1 percent drop after rising 0.8 percent in June.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 0.01 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.22 percent.
The German DAX, which has been swinging between gains and losses, is up 0.10 percent. The French CAC 40 is falling 0.10 percent and Switzerland's SMI is dropping 0.32 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 is losing 0.15 percent.
In Frankfurt, Deutsche Boerse is falling around 1 percent. Siemens is losing 0.7 percent.
RWE and E.ON are moderately lower.
Barclays initiated KWS Saat with "Underweight" rating. The stock is losing 1.3 percent.
Brenntag is losing around 1 percent after Berenberg reduced its rating on the stock.
Barclays initiated K+S with "Overweight" rating. The stock is up 0.4 percent.
Merck is climbing 2.6 percent and Metro is adding 1.8 percent.
In Paris, Airbus maker EADS and drugmaker Sanofi are falling around 0.9 percent each. France Telekom is down 0.7 percent.
Vallourec is advancing 2.9 percent. Veolia Environnement and Lafarge are each gaining 2.8 percent.
Renault is adding 1.7 percent and Peugeot is advancing 1.6 percent.
In London, ARM Holdings is losing 1.2 percent and Carnival is losing 1.7 percent.
BG Group is down 1.3 percent. BP is modestly lower and Royal Dutch Shell is falling moderately.
CRH is down 1 percent. JPMorgan cut its rating on the stock.
Among miners, Kazakhmys is gaining 1.8 percent and Vedanta is rising 1.6 percent.
Fresnillo is adding 1.3 percent and Randgold Resources is gaining 1.1 percent. Evraz is gaining 1.7 percent.
Lloyds Banking is adding 1.9 percent and Royal Bank of Scotland Group is rising 1.5 percent.
Zurich Insurance is gaining 0.3 percent in Zurich. The firm reported a 19 percent drop in its second-quarter profit, but the decline was not as bad as analysts had expected.
Across Asia/Pacific, major markets had a mixed outing. Australia's All Ordinaries gained 1.1 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 1.9 percent. However, China's Shanghai Composite Index and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street, ahead of some key data on the housing and jobs markets as well as the manufacturing sector. In the previous session, stocks turned in yet another lackluster performance, extending the sideways move seen over the past week. While the Dow edged down 0.1 percent, the Nasdaq rose 0.5 percent and the S&P 500 inched up 0.1 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for September delivery is falling $0.11 to $94.22 per barrel and December gold is losing $1.4 to $1605.2 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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