European Markets at Close Report on February 25, 2015: European stocks rise as German unemployment falls

European stocks rise as German unemployment falls

By
Markets Reporter
LONDON (MarketWatch) — European stocks rose Thursday, with German equities gaining traction after better-than-expected labor-market data from Europe’s largest economy.
In February, the number of jobless people in Germany declined by a seasonally adjusted 20,000, while analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a drop of 10,000.
“Falling oil prices and low inflation have certainly aided the economic engine of the eurozone,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, in a note. The German data is also “good news for [European Central Bank President Mario] Draghi, who has already confirmed that he sees the signs of confidence bouncing back in the eurozone.”
Stocks: After wading slightly in the red, Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, +1.04%  swung higher by 0.2% to 11,231.40 following the data. Advancers were led by a 2.8% rise in Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. FME, +4.01% But shares of Allianz SE ALV, -0.42%  were down 2.2% as fourth-quarter profit at the insurer fell, hurt by the performance at its bond fund Pacific Investment Management Co.
The move higher in German stocks helped push the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +1.02% up by 0.2% to 387.73.
France’s CAC 40 PX1, +0.58%  also came off session lows, tacking on 0.1% to 4,889.14.
But the FTSE 100 UKX, +0.21%  darted between small gains and losses, recently slipping less than 1 point at 6,934.80. Shares of Reed Elsevier PLC REL, -4.80%  dropped 4% after the publishing and exhibitions company posted a fall in full-year net profit and revenue.
In economic news from the U.K., fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth of 0.5% was confirmed by the Office for National Statistics.
Meanwhile, Greece’s Athex Composite  GD, -2.00%  shed 1.5% to 909.02 and Russia’s Micex XX:MCX  tacked on 0.1% at 1,747.42.

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