European stocks close: stocks closed lower on uncertainty over Britain's membership in the European Union
Stock closed lower on uncertainty over Britain's membership in the European Union (EU). According to the latest polls, the majority of Britons would support Britain's exit from the European Union (EU).
Market participants also eyed the economic data from the Eurozone. Eurostat released its final consumer price inflation data for the Eurozone on Thursday. Eurozone's harmonized consumer price index rose 0.4% in May, exceeding expectations for a 0.3% gain, after a flat reading in April.
On a yearly basis, Eurozone's final consumer price inflation increased to -0.1% in May from -0.2% in April, in line with the preliminary reading.
Restaurants and cafés prices were up 0.12% year-on-year in May, rents increased by 0.07%, tobacco rose by 0.07%, fuel prices for transport declined by 0.53%, heating oil prices decreased by 0.20%, while gas prices were down by 0.13%.
Eurozone's final consumer price inflation excluding food, energy, alcohol and tobacco rose to an annual rate of 0.8% in May from 0.7 in April, in line with the preliminary reading.
The Bank of England (BoE) released its interest rate decision on Thursday. The BoE kept its interest rates unchanged at 0.5% and its asset purchase program unchanged at £375 billion. This decision was widely expected.
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) released its June meeting minutes on Thursday. All members voted to keep the central bank's monetary policy unchanged.
The central bank warned about the consequences in case of the country's exit from the European Union (EU). According to the central bank, the possible Britain's exit from the EU was the largest risk to UK financial markets global financial markets.
The Office for National Statistics released its retail sales data for the U.K. on Thursday. Retail sales in the U.K. climbed 0.9% in May, exceeding expectations for a 0.2% gain, after a 1.9% rise in April. April's figure was revised up from a 1.3% increase.
The increase was mainly driven by a rise in clothing and footwear.
Food sales were up 1.1% in May, while non-food store sales increased 0.7%.
On a yearly basis, retail sales in the U.K. jumped 6.0% in May, beating forecasts of a 3.9% increase, after a 5.2% rise in April. April's figure was revised up from a 4.3% gain.
Indexes on the close:
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 5,950.48 -16.32 -0.27 %
DAX 9,550.47 -56.24 -0.59 %
CAC 40 4,153.01 -18.57 -0.45 %