12:20 PM EST, 02/23/2021 (MT Newswires) -- European bourses closed mixed on Tuesday on rising investor sentiment over hopes for an easing of social restrictions that pushed travel and leisure stocks higher.
The European Stoxx 600 was down 0.5%, the German Dax slipped 0.6% and the French CAC was up 0.2%. The Swiss Market Index was down 0.8%, and the FTSE 100 increased 0.2%.
The UK's unemployment rate hit an almost five-year high, with the number of redundancies growing in Q4, just before the country went into a third lockdown, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. The jobless rate in the quarter to December 2020 stood at 5.1%, up 1.3 percentage points from a year ago and 0.4 percentage point from the prior three-month period. The annual growth was the biggest since October to December 2009, while the rate was the highest since January to March 2016.
According to travel agency TUI (TUI.F), bookings for foreign trips jumped 500% in the UK, despite uncertainty over the date when international travel may be open again.
In the latest on Brexit, the UK agreed to give more time to the European Union to ratify the post-Brexit trade deal until April 30, Reuters reported.
Annual inflation in the euro area reached 0.9% in January 2021, compared with a 0.3% deflation in December 2020, ending a four-month streak of deflationary figures, Eurostat said. The estimate, which was driven by higher prices in services, was in line with the forecasts for the month.
Among individual stocks, Befesa (BFSA.F) was up over 4% after the company reported declines in FY20 revenue and profit from a year earlier.
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