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European Equities Close Lower on Thursday as ECB Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged


Last updated: 04/11/2024 12:18:15

12:18 PM EDT, 04/11/2024 (MT Newswires) -- The European stock markets closed lower in Thursday trading as the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.44%, the Swiss Market Index was down 0.26%, France's CAC was off 0.27%, the FTSE in London dropped 0.47%, and Germany's DAX closed 0.82% lower.

The European Central Bank kept its three main interest rates unchanged Thursday, saying that inflation has continued to decline led by lower inflation for food and goods.

"Most measures of underlying inflation are easing, wage growth is gradually moderating, and firms are absorbing part of the rise in labor costs in their profits," the ECB said in a statement.

The central bank added that if inflation continues its downward trajectory that "it would be appropriate to reduce the current level of monetary policy restriction."

And in corporate news, after climbing sharply higher in Wednesday's trading session following higher-than-expected US inflation data, European bank stocks reversed course in Thursday trading after the ECB indicated it may lower rates in the near future.

Lloyd's Banking dropped 4.6% in London, followed by Barclays and HSBC, which fell 3.1% and 2.5% respectively, while NatWest and Standard Chartered were down 2.1% and 2% respectively. In Frankfurt, Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank lost 4% and 2.5% respectively, while Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas in Paris were off 2% and 1.8%, respectively.

UK-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (AZN) said Thursday that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved Fasenra as an add-on maintenance treatment for children aged 6 to 11 having severe asthma with an eosinophilic phenotype. Shares of AstraZeneca closed more than 2% higher on the FTSE in London.
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