- Eurozone PMIs weaker than expected
- Euro-area consumer confidence falls
- US inflation rises in line
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European stocks were mixed as investors weighed a batch of economic data in the Eurozone and the US.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for manufacturing in the euro-area slipped to 53 from 54 in January, while the services measure rose to 51.7 from 51.6, Markit Economics said today.
Economists had predicted a reading of 54 for manufacturing and 51.9 for services.
However, it remained above the 50 level that signals expansion.
Another report showed Eurozone consumer confidence fell in February. The sentiment index dropped to -12.7 from -11.7 in January, missing analysts' estimates of -11.
The weaker-than-expected data could pile pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to loosen monetary policy.
ECB President Mario Draghi has said he will consider changing its policy at its March meeting following the release of more comprehensive data.
Draghi was paid €378,240 last year, more than twice of much as the $201,700 Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is set to receive, according to the ECB's annual accounts today. Draghi's salary rose by 1.1% from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund warned of financial problems arising in emerging markets. The organisation said economies where inflation is still high, or where policy credibility has come into question, "need to continue tightening monetary policy in the context of strengthened policy frameworks".
In China, manufacturing PMI declined to 48.3 in February, from the prior month's 49.5. Analysts had pencilled in a reading of 49.5.
US consumer prices rose by 1.6% year-on-year in January, up from the 1.5% rate a month earlier, as expected. On the month inflation increased 0.1%, matching economists' estimates, easing from 0.2% in December.
Markit's US 'flash' manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) jumped to 56.7 in February, up from a three-month low of 53.7 in January, representing the best growth in activity since May 2010.
Jobless claims decreased by 3,000 to 336,000 in the week ending on February 15th, according to the US Department of Labor, more or less in line with the consensus forecast for 335,000.
The data comes as investors continue to digest last night's minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting, at which the central bank re-affirmed its commitment to continue tapering in "measured steps" despite recent disappointing economic reports.
TUI edged lower as Monteray Enterprises sold 39.7m shares
in the travel company for €521m.
BAE Systems tumbled after warning that profits in 2014 could fall by up to 10% on the back of pressures on US government spending.
Randstad Holding dropped after reporting quarterly results that missed forecasts.
Rexam slid after Jefferies said earnings estimates for the packaging company may need to be cut to reflect currency fluctuations.
Technip advanced as the European oilfield services provider said its operating-profit margin from subsea operations will be at least 12% in 2014 and increase to 15% to 17% next year.
Suez Environnement gained after reporting that net debt declined in 2013.
The euro fell 0.22% to $1.3703.
Brent crude futures dipped $0.336 to $110.100 per barrel, according to data from the ICE.