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European Shares Subdued Ahead Of BoE Rate Decision

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European stocks were little changed on Thursday as a raft of Chinese data came in below estimates and investors awaited a pivotal BoE meeting for direction. Analysts expect the central bank to signal explicit concerns over the U.K. rate curve being too flat.

Earlier in the day, the Swiss National Bank maintained its expansionary monetary policy and upgraded its inflation projections.

Geopolitical tensions also remained in focus after North Korea threatened to use nuclear weapons to "sink" Japan and reduce the United States to "ashes and darkness" for supporting a new round of sanctions by the United Nations.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.10 percent at 380.95 in late opening deals after closing little changed the previous day.

The German DAX was moving down 0.3 percent and France's CAC 40 index was down 0.1 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent.

Switzerland's biggest life insurer Swiss Life lost nearly 2 percent on worries about tax evasion in the United States.

Miners Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Glencore and Rio Tinto lost 2-3 percent as industrial metal prices declined following disappointing data from top consumer China.

Wm Morrison Supermarkets slumped 4 percent despite the company reporting its seventh consecutive quarter of rising sales.

Hermes tumbled 3 percent after the French luxury goods maker warned of a slowdown in profit growth in the second half due to currency headwinds.

Next Plc shares jumped as much as 11.5 percent. The British clothing retailer lifted its full-year sales and profit forecasts despite fears about waning consumer confidence. Debenhams shares rose 1.2 percent while Marks & Spencer rallied 3.9 percent.

Automakers were broadly higher after industry data showed Europe's passenger car sales grew 5.6 percent year-on-year to 865,047 units in August, up from July's 2.7 percent increase.

by RTT Staff Writer

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