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    18.03.2016 17:01 European stocks close: stocks closed mixed in the absence of any major economic reports from the Eurozone

    Stock indices closed mixed in the absence of any major economic reports from the Eurozone.

    The European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board member Peter Praet said in an interview to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Friday that the central bank could cut its interest rate further into negative territory if risks to the outlook rise.

    "If new negative shocks should worsen the outlook or if financing conditions should not adjust in the direction and to the extent that is necessary to boost the economy and inflation, a rate reduction remains in our armoury," he said.

    Bloomberg reported on Thursday that according to two officials familiar with the matter, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi said to European Union leaders there was "no alternative" the central bank's recent interest rate cut and further stimulus measures. Draghi also said that European Union leaders should support the ECB's monetary policy actions.

    Eurostat released its labour costs data for the Eurozone on Friday. Hourly labour costs in the Eurozone rose at an annual rate of 1.3% in the fourth quarter, after a 1.1% gain in the previous quarter.

    Wages and salaries per hour climbed 1.5% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, while non-wage costs gained 0.7%.

    In the fourth quarter of 2015, hourly labour costs increased 1.2% year-on-year in industry, 0.5% in construction, 1.3% in services, while 1.6% in the mainly non-business economy.

    Destatis released its producer price index (PPI) for Germany on Friday. German PPI producer prices declined 0.5% in February, missing expectations for a 0.2% fall, after a 0.7% drop in January.

    On a yearly basis, German PPI dropped 3.0% in February, missing expectations for a 2.6% decrease, after a 2.4% fall in January.

    Indexes on the close:

    Name Price Change Change %

    FTSE 100 6,189.64 -11.48 -0.19 %

    DAX 9,950.8 58.60 0.59 %

    CAC 40 4,462.51 19.62 0.44 %

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