- Ukraine boosts defence ahead of meeting with Obama
- German imports and exports rise
- Carney addresses spare capacity
- UK industrial output rises
- EU finance ministers tackle failing bank law
FTSE 100: -0.23%
CAC 40: -0.37%
FTSE MIB: 0.15%
IBEX 35: -0.11%
Stoxx 600: -0.05%
European stocks were mixed as tensions in Ukraine showed no signs of letting up and as investors weighed economic data.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has rejected offers to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin until Moscow considers US proposals to end the turmoil in Ukraine.
Kerry said Moscow's military intervention in Crimea had made negotiations extremely difficult.
The Ukraine has boosted its defence force before its Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk meets US President Barack Obama tomorrow.
Meanwhile, data today showed German exports and imports surged in January at the fastest pace in nearly two years.
Seasonally adjusted exports jumped 2.2%, well above the 1.5% forecast, the Federal Statistics Office revealed. Overseas shipments had fallen 1% in December.
Imports advanced 4.1% in January, compared to a drop of 1.4% the previous month and the consensus estimate of a 1.4% increase.
As a result, the seasonally-adjusted trade surplus narrowed to €17.2bn from a revised €18.3bn in December.
BoE's Carney speaks
Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mark Carney said today the amount of spare capacity in the economy was probably slightly more than 1.5% of gross domestic product, suggesting the central bank can delay raising interest rates for longer.
Last month Carney said the BoE will consider a number of indicators, including spare capacity in the economy, in deciding when to raise the benchmark interest rate from its current low of 0.5%.
In other UK news, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed industrial production expanded by 0.1% month-on-month and 2.9% year-on-year in January.
The consensus estimate had been for a reading of 0.2% (2.9% year-on-year).
Output from manufacturing rose by 0.4% over the month (3.3% year-on-year), as expected.
DIW head urges ECB to inject QE
Head of Germany's Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Marcel Fratzcher has called on the European Central Bank to introduce €60bn of bond purchases each month to halt deflation.
His remarks came after the ECB decided to hold fire on policy action last week despite the M3 money supply falling below zero over the last eight months and inflation dropping to 0.8%, well below the monetary authority's 2% target.
Separately, the ECB revealed tough new measures to assess the risk of Europe banks. Banks will be required to change the models they use to predict losses and take account of its views on asset valuation if the ECB is unsatisfied with their risk assessment.
European Union finance ministers today claimed "good progress" on talks in Brussels to break a deadlock on a laws on failing banks.
Policymakers are working on a compromise deal on the Single Resolution Mechanism and a common fund to cover the cost of saving or closing banks. ECB President Mario Draghi last week warned there would be severe consequences for the euro-area and its banking union should they fail to reach a deal before May's parliament elections.
Galenica declined after the drugmaker said it forecasts 2014 profit to be at least at the same level as last year, below market estimates.
Geberit rallied after the maker of bathroom fittings and plumbing products said Christian Buhl will take over as Chief Executive from Albert Baehny at the beginning of 2015.
Close Brothers edged higher after the UK financial services company increased its interim payout to 16.5p, beating analysts' estimates.
Hannover tumbled after the reinsurer reported a drop in fourth quarter earnings due to weakness in life and health reinsurance.
African Barrick Gold slumped following reports that the company has started selling a 10% stake in its African unit.
The euro fell 0.19% to $1.3851.
Brent crude futures rose $0.249 to $108.350 per barrel, according to the ICE.