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    19.11.2015 16:59 European stocks close: stocks closed higher on the Fed's minutes

    Stock indices closed higher on the Fed's minutes. The Fed released its October monetary policy meeting minutes on Wednesday. The minutes showed that an interest rate hike in December is possible.

    The European Central Bank's (ECB) its minutes of October meeting on Thursday. According to the minutes, the central bank will review its stimulus measures at the December monetary policy meeting, and is ready to add further stimulus measures if needed.

    "The Governing Council was willing and able to act, if warranted, by using all available tools within its mandate, including by adjusting the size, composition and duration of the APP [asset purchase programme]," the minutes said.

    The central bank said that current measures may not be sufficient to reach the inflation target.

    The European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board member Peter Praet said in a speech on Thursday that the uncertainty about the economy increased.

    He noted that the economy in the Eurozone improved, adding that downside risks increased, while tail risks receded.

    Meanwhile, the economic data from the Eurozone was positive. The European Central Bank (ECB) released its current account on Thursday. Eurozone's current account surplus rose to a seasonally adjusted €29.4 billion in September from €18.7 billion in August. August's figure was revised up from a surplus of €17.7 billion.

    The Office for National Statistics released its retail sales data for the U.K. on Thursday. Retail sales in the U.K. fell 0.6% in October, missing expectations for a 0.5% decline, after a 1.7% rise in September. September's figure was revised down from a 1.9% increase.

    The decline was driven by lower food stores, department stores and clothing sales.

    Food sales declined 1.3% in October, non-food sales fell 0.3%, and clothing and footwear sales slid 1.8%, while household goods sales dropped 0.8%.

    Sales of auto fuel climbed 1.7% in October.

    On a yearly basis, retail sales in the U.K. climbed 3.8% in October, missing forecasts of 4.2% increase, after a 6.2% rise in September. September's figure was revised down from a 6.5% gain.

    The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) released its industrial order books balance on Thursday. The CBI industrial order books balance rose to -11% in November to -18% in October.

    Decline in export demand weighed on new orders.

    Indexes on the close:

    Name Price Change Change %

    FTSE 100 6,329.93 50.96 0.81 %

    DAX 11,085.44 125.49 1.14 %

    CAC 40 4,915.10 8.38 0.17 %

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