Stock indices closed lower ahead the release of U.S. labour market data on Friday. The better-than-expected U.S. labour market data could force the Fed to start raising its interest rate.
Meanwhile, the economic data from the Eurozone was better than expected. German seasonal adjusted factory orders climbed 2.0% in June, beating expectations for a 0.2% gain, after a 0.3% decline in May. May's figure was revised down from a 0.2% fall.
The increase was driven by rises in new orders from the Eurozone and from other countries. New orders from the Eurozone rose 2.3% in June, while orders from other countries increased 6.3%.
The Bank of England (BoE) kept its interest rates unchanged at 0.5% and its asset purchase program unchanged at £375 billion. This decision was widely expected.
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) released its August meeting minutes today. 8 members voted to keep the central bank's monetary policy unchanged. Ian McCafferty voted to hike interest rate.
The central bank expects the inflation to reach 2% target by the third quarter of 2017, while Britain's economy is expected to expand 2.8% in 2015.
The BoE Governor Mark Carney repeated at a press conference on Thursday that the time for interest rate hike is nearing.
"The likely timing of the first bank rate increase is drawing closer. However the exact timing of the first move cannot be predicted in advance," he said.
Carney added that the timing of the interest rate hike will depend on the economic data.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its manufacturing industrial production figures for the U.K. on Thursday. Manufacturing production in the U.K. rose 0.2% in June, in line with expectations, after a 0.6% decrease in May.
Manufacturing output was driven by a rise in the manufacture of weapons and ammunition, which jumped 31.0%.
On a yearly basis, manufacturing production in the U.K. increased 0.5% in June, beating forecast of a 0.4% gain, after a 1.0% rise in May.
Industrial production in the U.K. dropped 0.4% in June, missing forecasts of a 0.1% rise, after a 0.3% gain in May. May's figure was revised down from 0.4% increase.
The decline in the industrial output was driven by a drop in oil and gas output. Oil and gas production plunged 5.8% in June, the biggest fall since January 2014.
On a yearly basis, industrial production in the U.K. gained 1.5% in June, missing expectations for a 2.2% rise, after a 1.9% increase in May. May's figure was revised down from 2.1% gain.
Indexes on the close:
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 6,747.09 -5.32 -0.08 %
DAX 11,585.1 -51.20 -0.44 %
CAC 40 5,192.11 -4.62 -0.09 %