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European Markets Finish Mixed On Thursday

The major European markets finished in mixed fashion on Thursday as the FOMC's inflation-combat strategies warred with optimism generated by the earnings updates.

The major averages opened under pressure, but the German and UK markets managed to break into the green for the third straight day, while France remained in negative territory throughout the session.

The inconsistency followed remarks yesterday from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who indicated that interest rates are likely to rise this year, but monetary policy will take a broad and forward-looking view.

For the day, Germany's DAX climbed 21.27 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 16,031.59, while London's FTSE gained 12.13 points or 0.16 percent to close at 7,563.85 and the CAC 40 in France slipped 36.05 points or 0.50 percent to end at 7,201.14.

In Germany, Merck plummeted 3.18 percent, while Continental spiked 2.73 percent, Siemens Healthineers tumbled 2.34 percent, Deutsche Borse advanced 2.25 percent, Infineon jumped 2.22 percent, RWE climbed 1.93 percent, Bayerische Motoren rallied 1.61 percent, Heidelberg Cement added 1.25 percent, Volkswagen gained 0.92 percent, Deutsche Bank sank 0.20 percent and Deutsche Telekom rose 0.06 percent.

In London, Scottish Mortgage Investment tanked 3.20 percent, while Prudential soared 2.93 percent, Rightmove tumbled 2.81 percent, British American Tobacco spiked 1.78 percent, M&G jumped 1.48 percent, Tesco dropped 0.87 percent, Associated British Foods climbed 0.86 percent, BAE Systems gained 0.77 percent, Rolls-Royce Holdings accelerated 0.65 percent, Vodafone added 0.58 percent and Royal Dutch Shell rose 0.09 percent.

In France, Kering plummeted 3.61 percent, while L'Oreal tanked 2.81 percent, BNP Paribas jumped 2.50 percent, Societe Generale climbed 2.18 percent, Vivendi gained 1.85 percent, Airbus and Sanofi both sank 1.16 percent, Carrefour lost 1.04 percent, Credit Agricole collected 0.77 percent, Schneider Electric fell 0.47 percent and Atos eased 0.44 percent.

In economic news, the latest Credit Conditions Survey from the Bank of England showed on Thursday that UK lenders expect demand for secured lending to fall in the first quarter, while that for unsecured lending is expected to improve. Lenders observed a decrease in demand for secured lending for house purchases in the three months to end-November and it was expected to fall again in the coming quarter.

Italy's industrial production growth accelerated more than expected in November, the statistical office Istat said on Thursday. Industrial production grew by calendar adjusted 6.3 percent on a yearly basis in November, much faster than the 1.9 percent increase in October and the forecast of +3.7 percent.

Greece's consumer prices increased in December, data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority showed on Thursday. The consumer price index rose 5.1 percent year-on-year in December, following a 4.8 percent increase in November.

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