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    17.03.2016 11:00 European stock markets mid session: stocks traded lower on a stronger euro

    Stock indices traded lower on a stronger euro. The euro rose against the U.S. dollar after the release of the Fed's interest rate decision. The Fed kept its interest rate unchanged at 0.25% - 0.50% as widely expected by analysts. The Fed said at its March monetary policy meeting that interest rate will be 1.00% by the end of the year, down from 1.50% in December. It means that Fed officials expect the Fed to raise its interest rate twice this year.

    The Fed cut its growth and inflation forecasts. The U.S. economy is expected to expand 2.2% this year, down from the previous estimate of 2.4%, while inflation is expected to be 1.2%, down from the previous estimate of 1.6%.

    Market participants also eyed the Eurozone's economic data. Eurostat released its final consumer price inflation data for the Eurozone on Thursday. Eurozone's harmonized consumer price index rose 0.2% in February, up from the preliminary reading of 0.1%, after a 1.4% drop in January.

    On a yearly basis, Eurozone's final consumer price inflation dropped to -0.2% in February from 0.3% in January, in line with the preliminary reading.

    Restaurants and cafés prices were up 0.13% year-on-year in February, rents increased by 0.08%, fruit prices rose by 0.06%, fuel prices for transport declined by 0.49%, heating oil prices decreased by 0.24%, while gas prices were down by 0.10%.

    Eurozone's final consumer price inflation excluding food, energy, alcohol and tobacco decreased to at an annual rate of 0.8% in February from 1.0 in January, up from the preliminary reading of 0.7%.

    Eurozone's unadjusted trade surplus slid to €6.2 billion in January from €24.3 billion in December, missing expectations for a decline to €9.0 billion.

    Exports fell at an unadjusted annual rate of 2.0% in January, while imports decreased 1.0%.

    The Bank of England (BoE) will release its interest rate decision later in the day. Analysts expect the central bank to keep its monetary policy unchanged.

    Current figures:

    Name Price Change Change %

    FTSE 100 6,143.91 -31.58 -0.51 %

    DAX 9,800.71 -182.70 -1.83 %

    CAC 40 4,389.69 -73.31 -1.64 %

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