- German unemployment rises
- Eurozone consumer confidence up
- Eurozone money supply falls
- Goldman predicts ECB rate cut in June
FTSE 100: 0.09%
CAC 40: 0.04%
FTSE MIB: 0.85%
IBEX 35: 0.40%
Stoxx 600: -0.05%
European stocks were mixed after data revealed an increase in German unemployment and a slowdown in the rate of growth in the Eurozone's money supply.
German unemployment rose for the first time in six months by a seasonally adjusted 23,937 to 2.905m in May, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labour Agency revealed on Wednesday. Economists had predicted a fall of 15,000. The adjusted jobless rate was unchanged at 6.7%, in line with forecasts.
"With business and investment sentiment potentially pointing to lower activity in the second quarter, today's unemployment data was another indication that the German economy is about to be dragged down by the poor growth in France and the periphery," said analyst Jasper Lawler at CMC Markets.
Meanwhile, a final reading for the European Commission's Eurozone consumer confidence index confirmed an increase to -7.1 in May from -8.6 last month, as expected by analysts.
Another report showed the Eurozone's Business Climate Indicator climbed to 0.37 in May from 0.28 a month earlier, beating the 0.30 estimate.
In France, consumer spending contracted by 0.3% month-on-month and 0.5% year-on-year in April, according to French Statistics institute INSEE. The consensus forecast was for an increase of 0.5% on the month and 0.3% on the year.
Eurozone money supply falls
The growth rate of so-called 'broad' money supply, or M3, eased to an 0.8% year-on-year pace in April from a revised 1% in March, according to the European Central Bank (ECB).
Analysts had been expecting a reading of 1.1%.
"The present rate of monetary growth reflects ongoing financial fragmentation in the Eurozone," according to Colin Bermingham from BNP Paribas.
"The European Central Bank (ECB) has been increasingly vocal on this issue recently. Mario Draghi said on Monday that current credit dynamics are a factor holding back inflation and growth in the Eurozone and today's numbers reinforce that view. With the ECB poised to act in its policy meeting next month, finding the best way to restore credit growth will be high on the list of priorities."
Goldman Sachs is reportedly calling for the ECB to cut its policy rates by 15 basis points in June. They also expect an announcement on targeted credit easing measures.
Elekta, Smith & Nephew
Elekta slumped as the Swedish maker of equipment for radiation surgery reported fourth quarter income that fell short of analysts' estimates.
Smith & Nephew edged higher following a report that Stryker has hired advisors to bid for the maker of hip and knee implants.
GlaxoSmithKline retreated after confirming that the UK's Serious Fraud Office has started an investigation into the drugmaker's conduct.
Hugo Boss declined as its majority shareholder sold a stake in the German maker of luxury suits.
Telecom Italia advanced as Goldman Sachs added it to a conviction-buy list.
Osram Licht dropped after cutting its sales forecast for 2014.
Metso Oyj tumbled after Weir Group abandoned its attempt to buy the Finnish maker of rock crushers.
The euro was down 0.27% to $1.3598.
Brent crude futures fell $0.292 to $109.700 per barrel, according to the ICE.