Stock indices closed Stock indices traded higher on further stimulus measures by the European Central Bank's (ECB). The central bank cut its interest rate to 0.00% from 0.05% (this decision was not expected by market participants) and deposit rate to -0.4% from -0.3%. The ECB also expanded its monthly purchases to €80 billion from €60 billion, to take effect in April. Purchases will include non-bank corporate debt. The central bank will launch further four targeted longer-term refinancing operations (LTRO).
European Central Bank (ECB) Vice President Vitor Constancio said on Friday that the central bank's monetary policy had limits. He noted that structural and fiscal reforms should be implemented to help to boost the economic growth and inflation.
European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council member Erkki Liikanen said on Friday that the central bank still had tools to boost the economy and inflation in the Eurozone.
The U.K. Office for National Statistics (ONS) released trade data for the U.K. on Friday. The U.K. trade deficit in goods narrowed to £10.29 billion in January from £10.45 billion in December. December's figure was revised down from a deficit of £9.92 billion.
The decline in deficit was driven by a smaller gap with non-EU countries.
The total trade deficit, including services, narrowed to £3.46 billion in January from £3.70 billion in December. December's figure was revised down from a deficit of £2.71 billion.
Construction output in the U.K. declined 0.2% in January, after a 2.1% rise in December. The decline was mainly driven by a drop in all new work, which plunged 0.8% in January.
Indexes on the close:
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 6,139.79 103.09 1.71 %
DAX 9,831.13 332.98 3.51 %
CAC 40 4,492.79 142.44 3.27 %