- Fed to release meeting minutes
- Chinese inflation slows
- UK retail prices fall
- UK housing market cools
FTSE 100: -0.30%
CAC 40: 0.40%
FTSE MIB: 0.89%
IBEX 35: 0.54%
Stoxx 600: -0.01%
European stocks were mixed as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes for more insight behind the central bank's latest policy decision.
The Fed will after the close of Europe's session unveil its notes from its June 17-18th meeting, when the central bank cut monthly bond purchases by $10bn to $35bn. At the time Fed Chair Janet Yellen had said interest rates will probably stay low for a considerable time.
"It's unlikely Fed members will have deviated too much from recent statements in the minutes; but in such a bullish market, just holding the course may be enough to push stocks back up again," according to Jasper Lawler at CMC Markets.
"The biggest risk to the rally in stocks out of the Fed minutes will be any implication of a rate hike happening sooner than expected due to an improving labour market and rising inflation."
Following a better-than-expected jobs report last week, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have both brought forward their estimates for rate increases.
Chinese inflation, UK retail and house market
Chinese inflation eased to 2.3% in June from 2.5% a month earlier as food prices weakened. Analysts had predicted it to fall to 2.4%.
In the UK, prices in shops fell 1.8% last month compared to a year ago, marking the biggest annual decline since the survey began in December 2006, the British Retail Consortium said.
A report from Halifax showed the housing market cooled slightly in May and June but underlying prices continued to rise.
Monthly numbers of home sales dipped 3% during May to fall below 100,000 for the first time in six months, though transaction numbers were still much higher year-on-year. House prices fell 0.6% month-on-month in June after recording an increase in May, though Halifax stressed that June was still up 8.8% year-on-year.
UK exit would cause shock on EU, says ECB's Coeure
European Central Bank (ECB) member Benoit Coeure has said that Britain leaving the European Union would have an "enormous shock" on the region.
At a roundtable discussion in Athens, Coeure said: "The UK leaving would constitute an enormous shock and [be] very difficult to manage."
The comments relate to the UK's in-out referendum on EU membership planned for 2017, as Prime Minister David Cameron looks to change Britain's ties to the bloc if the Conservatives win the General Election in 2015.
Thales was higher after JPMorgan upgraded the French maker of defence electronics to 'overweight' from 'neutral'.
Aviva slipped after revealing plans to double is cashflow by 2016 and cut its debt by the end of next year. Shore Capital Group said the plans were not "overly challenging".
Admiral Group edged down as the car insurer said margin expectations on business earned this year are lower than in recent years.
Seadrill rallied after the biggest drilling-rig company cancelled a $1bn convertible-bond sale.
Sodexo slumped after the world's second-largest catering company reported nine-month sales that missed the median analyst estimate.
easyJet advanced after UBS said the European airline may maintain or raise its guidance later this month when it reports quarterly results.
The euro rose 0.18% to $1.3636.
Brent crude futures fell 0.572% to $108.32 per barrel, according to the ICE.