- Eurozone GDP revised down ahead of ECB meeting
- US factory orders rise
- US adds more jobs
FTSE 100: 0.10%
CAC 40: 0.09%
FTSE MIB: -1.02%
IBEX 35: -0.20%
Stoxx 600: 0.18%
European stocks were little changed as investors digested revised Eurozone growth figures and US data on jobs and factory orders.
The Eurozone's gross domestic product (GDP) growth was revised down to 0.2% in the final quarter of 2013 from the previous estimate of 0.3%, according to Eurostat.
It came after euro-area data released earlier this week showed the unemployment rate remained at 11.9% in February, while inflation fell to 0.5% in March from 0.8% in February, well below the European Central Bank's (ECB) 2% target.
"Today's news complete a mixed picture for ECB policymakers to look at ahead of an interest rate decision tomorrow," said Danae Kyriakopoulou, Economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
The ECB, which has come under mounting pressure to tackle falling prices and high unemployment, is expected keep its key interest rates at a record-low 0.25% and hold back on stimulus measures when it meets tomorrow.
Despite concerns the euro-area is headed towards deflation, ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said the region would be able to avoid this as economic recovery gradually reduces spare capacity in the economy.
"The prospects for inflation are a cause for concern," Constancio said at a press conference in Athens yesterday.
"If indeed the recovery consolidates, it means that the slack in the recovery is reduced, and that will help on that score."
US jobs, factory orders
A report from ADP today showed US employers added 191,000 staff in March, compared to a revised 178,000 a month earlier. Analysts had expected 195,000.
Another report revealed factory orders in the world's biggest economy increased 1.6% in February, beating forecasts for a 1.2% gain. It followed a 0.7% fall in January.
"With the Federal Reserve threatening to increase interest rates in the near future, investors will continue to keep a very close eye on data to try and gauge when hikes could happen," said Spreadex trader Lee Mumford.
SBM Offshore, Asos
SBM Offshore was up after the Dutch supplier of floating oil-production platforms said an internal investigation found no credible evidence of improper payments made to Brazilian government employees from 2007 through 2011.
Asos jumped as the UK's largest online-only fashion retailer posted first-half pre-tax profit that exceeded analysts' estimates.
Deutsche Boerse AG fell nearly 3% as the German exchange operator said its Clearstream Banking SA unit is subject to a criminal investigation in the US.
Alcatel-Lucent climbed as Natixis SA raised the network-equipment maker to 'buy' from 'neutral'.
Neste Oil, a Finnish maker of renewable diesel, edged higher after Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Ron Wyden, proposed retroactively extending expired tax credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel until the end of next year.
Deutsche Post gained after Europe's largest mail service predicted operating profit would increase by an average of more than 8% through 2020.
The euro fell 0.25% to $1.3759.
Brent crude future dropped $1.304 to $104.260 per barrel, according to the ICE.