Stock indices traded lower on a drop in oil prices. Oil prices fell on concerns over the global oil oversupply and on concerns over the slowdown in the Chinese economy.
European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said on Wednesday that there are limits to the central bank's monetary policy. He pointed out that the ECB's quantitative easing was working.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its labour market data on Wednesday. The U.K. unemployment rate fell to 5.1% in the September to November quarter from 5.2% in the August to October quarter. It was the lowest reading since three months to October 2005.
Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 5.2%.
The employment rate was 74%. It was the highest reading since 1971.
Average weekly earnings, excluding bonuses, climbed by 1.9% in the September to November quarter, beating expectations for a 1.8% rise, after a 2.0% gain in the August to October quarter.
Average weekly earnings, including bonuses, rose by 2.0% in the September to November quarter, missing expectations for a gain of 2.1%, after a 2.4% increase in the August to October quarter.
The Bank of England monitors closely the wages growth it considers when to start hiking its interest rate.
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 5,704.22 -172.58 -2.94 %
DAX 9,376.02 -288.19 -2.98 %
CAC 40 4,135.39 -136.87 -3.20 %