European Equity Benchmarks End Lower

The broad-based major European indices closed lower in Thursday’s trading session, as pharmaceuticals and mining stocks weighed on markets. In economic news, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, reported that in Q1, the business investment rate was 22.2% in the euro area, compared with 23.6% in the previous quarter. The business profit share in the euro area was 40.3% in Q1, compared with 40.8% in Q4 of 2016.

Eurostat also said the household saving rate in the euro area was 12.3% in Q1, compared with 12.1% in Q4 of 2016. The household investment rate in the euro area was 8.9% in Q1, compared with 8.6% in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, euro zone retailers recorded a rise in sales for the third consecutive month in June, according to IHS Markit, which said growth was driven by sharp expansions in France and Germany, although another decline in Italy weigh down overall growth. The IHS Markit Eurozone Retail PMI, which tracks the month-on-month changes in retail sales in the EU’s three biggest economies combined, rose to 53.2 in June from 52.0 in May.

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