- Eurozone inflation slows
- German retail sales rise
- US consumer spending falls
FTSE 100: 0.20%
CAC 40: 0.34%
FTSE MIB: 0.54%
IBEX 35: 0.06%
Stoxx 600: 0.28%
European stocks were mixed after inflation slowed in August, adding pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to take action to boost recovery.
Consumer prices in the euro-area rose 0.3% year-on-year following a 0.4% increase in July.
At the so-called 'core' level, which strips out the most volatile items, such as energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, the rate of inflation edged slightly higher, to a 0.9% year-on-year clip (consensus: 0.8%), compared to 0.8% the month before.
"While the overall inflation reading was 0.3% for the month, core inflation was 0.9% which suggests the inflation problem is abating and the only thing driving the main consumer price index reading lower is temporary volatile factors such as fuel prices," said Alpari UK analyst Craig Erlam.
"Given the number of stimulus measures announced by the ECB a few months ago, it's difficult to know what exactly is helping lift the inflation number, but I imagine the more than eight cent drop in the euro against the dollar, from $1.40 to below $1.32, is contributing."
ECB President Mario Draghi last Friday hinted at the possibility of full-on quantitative easing to address weak inflation.
However, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told newspaper Passauer Neue Presse this week that Draghi's comments about fiscal policy had been "overinterpreted".
He also told Bloomberg in a televised interview that ECB monetary policy "can only buy time" and Europe is in need of structural reform.
Elsewhere in Europe on Friday, the jobless rate remained at 11.5% in August, as predicted by analysts.
German retail sales rose 0.7% in July following a revised 0.1% increase in June, missing expectations for a 1.5% gain.
US household purchases dropped 0.1% following a 0.4% increase in June. Analysts had predicted a 0.2% rise.
The University of Michigan's consumer confidence index climbed to 82.4 in August in the final report, up from a preliminary reading of 79.2 and ahead of consensus expectations of 80.1.
The median inflation expectation over the next year fell 0.2 percentage points (pp) to 3.4% and by 0.1pp to 2.9% for the next five to 10 years.
The Chicago purchasing managers' index (PMI) for manufacturing activity was revised higher to 56.5 in August from an initial reading of 52.6, beating expectations' of 64.3.
Tesco slides on profit warning
Tesco declined after lowering its full-year profit forecast and its interim dividend.
AstraZeneca advanced as UBS said the pharmaceutical firm's treatment for colorectal cancer has moved to the next stage of testing.
D'Ieteren retreated after posting first-half pre-tax profit that feel short of analysts' forecasts.
The euro fell 0.20% to $1.3156.
Brent crude futures climbed 0.33% to $102.80 per barrel, according to the ICE.