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26.08.2015 16:00 European stocks close: stocks closed lower as concerns over a slowdown in the Chinese economy turned in focus again

Stock indices closed lower as concerns over a slowdown in the Chinese economy turned in focus again. The People's Bank of China (PBoC) lowered the one-year benchmark bank lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.6%. The central bank hopes with this decision to support the country's economy and to calm down the markets.

One-year benchmark deposit rates were cut by 25 basis point, reserve requirements (RRR) were lowered by 50 basis points to 18% for most big banks.

New reserve requirements would be effective on September 6.

The European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board Member Peter Praet said on Wednesday that the downside risk of achieving the central bank's 2% inflation target are increased. He added that the ECB will add further stimulus measures if needed.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its real gross domestic product (GDP) growth figures on Wednesday. Real GDP of 34 OECD member countries rose 0.4% in the second quarter, after a 0.5% gain in the first quarter.

Real GDP of the United States was up 0.6% in the second quarter, real GDP of Germany rose to 0.4%, while Britain's economy climbed to 0.7%.

GDP of France remained flat in the second quarter, Italy's economy increased 0.2%, while Japan's GDP was down 0.4%.

Eurozone's economic growth remained unchanged at 0.4% in the second quarter.

On yearly basis, GDP of 34 OECD member countries remained unchanged at 2.0% in the second quarter.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) released the number of mortgage approvals in the U.K. on Wednesday. The number of mortgage approvals increased to 46,033 in July from 44,802 in June. It was the highest reading since February 2014.

"Savvy homeowners are snapping up competitive deals before an expected increase in interest rates," the chief economist at the BBA, Richard Woolhouse, said.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) released its retail sales balance data on Wednesday. The CBI retail sales balance increased to 24% in August from 21% in July.

The increase was driven by a rise in sales in clothing stores.

Indexes on the close:

Name Price Change Change %

FTSE 100 5,979.2 -102.14 -1.68 %

DAX 9,997.43 -130.69 -1.29 %

CAC 40 4,501.05 -63.81 -1.40 %

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