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    03.02.2016 17:01 European stocks close: stocks closed lower as the euro rose

    Stock indices closed lower as the euro climbed against the U.S dollar after the release of the weaker-than-expected U.S. services PMI data. The Institute for Supply Management released its non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the U.S. on Wednesday. The index fell to 53.5 in January from 55.8 in December, missing expectations for a decrease to 55.1.

    Markit Economics released final services PMI for the U.S. on Wednesday. Final U.S. services PMI fell to 53.2 in January from 54.3 in December, down from the preliminary reading of 53.7. It was the lowest level since late-2013. The index was driven by a slower growth in output and new business. Employment continued to strengthen.

    Meanwhile, the economic data from the Eurozone was mostly weaker than expected. Markit Economics released final services PMI data for the Eurozone on Wednesday. Eurozone's final services PMI declined to 53.6 in January from 54.2 in December, in line with the preliminary reading.

    The index was driven by a slower growth in business activity in Germany, Italy and Spain.

    Eurozone's final composite output index fell to 53.6 in January from 54.3 in December, up from the preliminary reading of 53.5.

    "A disappointing Eurozone PMI survey for January indicated one of the weakest expansions seen over the past year and raises the prospect of further stimulus," Chief Economist at Markit Chris Williamson said.

    He added that the Eurozone's is expected to grow at 0.4% at the start of the year.

    Germany's final services PMI slid to 55.0 in January from 56.0 in December, down from the preliminary reading of 55.4.

    The index was driven by a slower growth in new orders and employment.

    France's final services PMI climbed to 50.3 in January from 49.8 in December, down from the preliminary reading of 50.6.

    The index was driven by a rise in new business, backlogs of work and employment.

    December, in line with expectations, after a flat reading in November. November's figure was revised up from a 0.3% fall.

    Non-food sales increased 0.2% in December, food, drinks and tobacco sales rose 0.6%, while automotive fuel sales declined 0.1%.

    On a yearly basis, retail sales in the Eurozone climbed 1.4% in December, missing forecasts of a 1.5% gain, after a 1.6% increase in November. November's figure was revised up from a 1.4% gain.

    Non-food sales gained 1.8% year-on-year in December, gasoline sales decreased 0.8%, while food, drinks and tobacco sales rose 0.8%.

    In 2015 as whole, retail sales climbed 2.4%.

    Markit's and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply's services purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the U.K. rose to 55.6 in January from 55.5 in December, beating expectations for a fall to 55.3.

    The increase was driven by a faster growth in new business and job creation.

    "The economy defied expectations and picked up speed in January, but cracks continue to appear in the country's resilience to the various headwinds," the Chief Economist at Markit Chris Williamson said.

    He added that the U.K. economy is expected to expand 0.6% in the first quarter of 2016.

    Indexes on the close:

    Name Price Change Change %

    FTSE 100 5,837.14 -84.87 -1.43 %

    DAX 9,434.82 -146.22 -1.53 %

    CAC 40 4,226.96 -57.03 -1.33 %


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