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European stocks trims losses after US housing data but ends red

February 26, 2014

European stocks markets ended with fewer losses Wednesday after data showed better-than-forecast U.S. housing data, but most markets ended in red. -  Stoxx      600   lost 0.20 percent or 0.69 points to  337.70 , after closing at a sex-year high on Tuesday. -  Stoxx 50   dropped 0.29% to  3148.19 European stocks began to reduce losses in the afternoon after reports showed U.S. new home sales rose 9.6% in January to 468,000, hitting the highest since July 2008, and notably beating estimates. Analysts had expected sales to drop by 3.4% on unusually cold weather and higher mortgage rates in the U.S. U.S. stocks traded higher on Wall Street after the data. In data news in Europe, the Office for National Statistics said U.K. gross domestic product rose 0.7% quarter-on-quarter in the final three months of 2013, unrevised from a preliminary estimate and in line with expectations. Year-on-year, the economy expanded by 1.8%, down from the previously estimated 1.9%. In Germany, a forward-looking gauge of consumer confidence rose to a seven-year high in March, suggesting the German economy is gaining broad-based strength. Corporate NewsJeronimo Martins SGPS SA lost 6.5%, after the Portuguese retailer reported 2013 results that missed analysts' forecasts. Heavyweight Seadrill Ltd. weighed on the main index with a 0.6% loss after Nomura cut it to neutral from buy. The re-rating came after Tuesday's results for the offshore driller, which provided a muted outlook for the deepwater-drilling market in 2014 and said there would be limited scope to lift its quarterly dividend. Banks were also among decliners, with Credit Suisse Group AG down 2.5% after being criticized by U.S. senators over its role in tax evasion. On the upside, shares of Swiss Life Holding AG jumped 6% after the insurer raised its dividend 22%. It also posted net income for 2013 that beat forecasts of analysts polled by Bloomberg. -The British  FTSE 100   lost 0.46% or 31.35 points to  6799.15 -The French  CAC 40   lost 0.40% or 17.64 to  4396.91 -Frankfurt's  DAX 30   lost 0.39% or 37.62 points to  9661.73

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Source: Financial Markets

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