Stock indices closed mixed on the mixed corporate earnings reports and economic data from the Eurozone. Eurostat released its retail sales data for the Eurozone on Thursday. Retail sales in the Eurozone fell 0.1% in September, missing expectations for a 0.2% rise, after a flat reading in July.
The decline was driven by lower food, drinks and tobacco sales, which slid 0.6% in September.
On a yearly basis, retail sales in the Eurozone climbed 2.9% in September, missing forecasts of a 3.0% gain, after a 2.2% increase in August. August's figure was revised down from a 2.3% rise.
Destatis released its factory orders data for Germany on Thursday. German seasonal adjusted factory orders dropped 1.7% in September, missing expectations for a 1.0% decrease, after a 1.8% fall in August.
The decline was driven by a drop in foreign and domestic orders. Foreign orders decreased by 2.4% in September, while domestic orders fell by 0.6%.
The European Commission released it economic growth forecast for the Eurozone on Thursday. Eurozone's economic growth for 2015 was upgraded to 1.6%, up from a previous estimate of 1.5%. Eurozone's economic growth for 2016 was cut to 1.8% from a previous estimate of 1.9%.
The European Central Bank's quantitative easing supports the economic growth in the Eurozone, the European Commission noted.
"The impact of the positive factors is fading, while new challenges are appearing, such as the slowdown in emerging market economies and global trade," it added.
The Bank of England's (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 November 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 lowered its growth forecasts to 2.7% this year, down from the previous forecast of 2.8%, and 2.5% next year, down from the previous forecast of 2.6%.
Halifax released its house prices data for the U.K. on Thursday. House prices in the U.K. increased 1.1% in October, exceeding expectations for a 0.6% gain, after a 0.9% rise in September.
On a yearly basis, house prices climbed 9.7% in the three months to October, exceeding expectations for a 9.5% gain, after a 8.6% increase in the three months to September.
"Improving economic conditions and household finances, together with sustained low mortgage rates, have boosted housing demand during 2015. Strengthening demand is filtering through in to higher sales levels although the ongoing shortage of supply is acting as a significant constraint on activity," Halifax's housing economist Martin Ellis said.
Indexes on the close:
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 6,364.9 -47.98 -0.75 %
DAX 10,887.74 42.50 0.39 %
CAC 40 4,980.04 31.75 0.64 %