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    31.03.2016 16:23 European stocks close: stocks closed lower on a fall in telecom and banking stocks

    Stock indices closed lower on a drop in telecom and banking stocks. Market participants are also awaiting the release of the U.S. labour market tomorrow.

    Market participants also eyed the economic data from the Eurozone. Eurostat released its consumer price inflation data for the Eurozone on Thursday. The preliminary consumer price inflation in the Eurozone rose to -0.1% year-on-year in March from -0.2% in February, in line with expectations.

    The preliminary consumer price inflation excluding food, energy, alcohol, and tobacco climbed to an annual rate of 1.0% in March from 0.8% in February. Analysts had expected the index to increase to 0.9%.

    Food, alcohol and tobacco prices were up 0.7% in March, non-energy industrial goods prices gained 0.5%, and services prices climbed 1.3%, while energy prices dropped 8.7%.

    The Federal Labour Agency released its unemployment figures for Germany on Thursday. The number of unemployed people in Germany was flat in March, missing expectations for a 7,000 decline, after a 9,000 decrease in February. February's figure was revised down from a 10,000 fall.

    The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.2% in March, in line with expectations.

    Destatis released its retail sales for Germany on Thursday. German adjusted retail sales fell 0.4% in February, missing forecasts of a 0.3% gain, after a 0.1% decrease in January. January's figure was revised down from a 0.7% increase.

    On a yearly basis, German unadjusted retail sales climbed 5.4% in February, beating expectations for a 2.2% gain, after a 1.2% drop in January. January's figure was revised down from a 0.8% decline.

    Sales of non-food products increased at an annual rate of 3.9% in February, while sales of food, beverages and tobacco products rose by 7.1%.

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its final gross domestic product (GDP) data on Thursday. The final U.K. GDP expanded at 0.6% in the fourth quarter, up from the February estimate of 0.5%, after a 0.4% rise in the third quarter.

    On a yearly basis, the revised U.K. GDP rose 2.1% in the fourth quarter, up from the February estimate of 1.9%, after a 2.1% gain in the third quarter.

    The upward revision was driven by revisions in services, industrial output and construction.

    In 2015 as whole, GDP expanded 2.3%, up from the previous estimate of 2.2%.

    The U.K.'s National Statistics Office (ONS) released its current account data for the U.K. on Thursday. The U.K. current account deficit widened to £37.2 billion in the fourth quarter from £20.1 billion in the third quarter. The third quarter's figure was revised down from a deficit of £17.5 billion.

    Analysts had expected the current account deficit to increase to £21.1 billion.

    The fourth quarter's current account deficit amounted to 7.0% of GDP, the highest share since 1955.

    Declines in the current account deficit were driven by a drop in the deficit on primary and secondary income, and total trade.

    In 2015 as a whole, the current account deficit was £96.2 billion or 5.2% of GDP. It was the biggest deficit since 1948.

    Indexes on the close:

    Name Price Change Change %

    FTSE 100 6,174.9 -28.27 -0.46 %

    DAX 9,965.51 -81.10 -0.81 %

    CAC 40 4,385.06 -59.36 -1.34 %

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