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    17.02.2016 17:00 European stocks close: stocks closed higher as oil prices climbed

    Stock indices closed higher as oil prices rose. Oil prices traded higher on news that Iran supports the decision to freeze the oil production at the level of January.

    Market participants are awaiting the release of the latest Fed's monetary policy minutes later in the day. They hope for some hints regarding further interest rate hikes.

    Market participants also eyed the economic data from the Eurozone. The Eurostat released its construction production data for the Eurozone on Wednesday. Construction production in the Eurozone declined 0.6% in December, after a 0.9% rise in November.

    Civil engineering output declined 0.7% in December, while production in the building sector was down 0.4%.

    In 2015 as whole, construction production fell 1.0%, compared with 2014.

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its labour market data on Wednesday. The U.K. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1% in the October to December quarter. It was the lowest reading since three months to October 2005.

    Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to decline to 5.0%.

    Average weekly earnings, excluding bonuses, climbed by 2.0% in the October to December quarter, beating expectations for a 1.8% rise, after a 1.9% gain in the September to November quarter.

    Average weekly earnings, including bonuses, rose by 1.9% in the October to December quarter, in line with expectations, after a 2.1% increase in the September to November quarter. The previous quarter's figure was revised up from a 2.0% rise.

    The Bank of England monitors closely the wages growth it considers when to start hiking its interest rate.

    Indexes on the close:

    Name Price Change Change %

    FTSE 100 6,020.99 158.82 2.71 %

    DAX 9,377.21 242.10 2.65 %

    CAC 40 4,233.47 122.81 2.99 %


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