- Weidmann warns of 'shortsighted' ECB policy
- Eurozone construction output slows
- Chinese house prices fall
- Greek elections mixed
- Russia orders withdrawal of troops in Ukraine
FTSE 100: -0.16%
CAC 40: 0.30%
FTSE MIB: -1.60%
IBEX 35: -0.51%
Stoxx 600: -0.14%
were little changed as Bundesbank Chief Jens Weidmann warned that euro-area policy efforts targeted solely toward the euro exchange rate
would be "shortsighted".
Weidmann, a member of the European Central Bank's (ECB) governing council, said that setting a specific target for the euro exchange rate could conflict with the monetary authority's mandate to maintain price stability in the Eurozone.
"In order to strengthen growth and employment in the euro area permanently, member states must ensure competitive economic structures" instead of relying on the euro exchange rate, he said at a Deutsche Bundesbank conference in Frankfurt today.
His remarks come as traders bet the ECB will ease policy at its June meeting amid weak inflation and a stagnant recovery.
Elsewhere in the Eurozone, data showed construction output in March eased back. It rose 5.2% year-on-year following a 7.5% increase in February.
In Greece the first round of the municipal elections produced a mixed result that allowed both the coalition and the opposition party to claim they performed well.
In China, a report from the real estate sector in China which showed property prices dropped last month. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, eight of the country's cities saw a monthly decline in the average commercial house price, compared to the four which saw a fall in March.
Meanwhile, Russia's President Vladimir Putin has ordered the withdrawal of troops near Ukraine's border, the Kremlin said.
Units in the Rostov, Belgorod and Bryansk regions should return to their permanent bases, according to a statement.
AstraZeneca leads health stocks lower
AstraZeneca declined after the board rejected a sweetened £55-a-share bid from Pfizer. A gauge of European health-care companies, including GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis, also tumbled.
Deutsche Bank AG retreated after Germany's biggest bank sold about 60m shares to the Qatari royal family as it announced plans to raise €8bn in its second-largest capital increase.
Adidas AG slumped after the world's second-biggest sporting-goods maker said it will probably need more time to meet its 2015 sales and margin targets because of the strong euro.
Ryanair flew higher after reporting annual earnings that beat analysts' estimates.
Saab AB edged lower as the Swedish company stands to lose a 3.1bn-franc ($3.5bn) order for Gripen fighter jets after Swiss voters rejected the deal in a referendum.
Alstom gained as General Electric seeks approval from France for its $17bn bid for the company.
The euro rose 0.17% to $1.3717.
Brent crude futures fell $0.128 to $109.610 per barrel, according to the ICE.