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Sep 15, 2016

European Markets Closing Report on September 15, 2016: European Stocks Close Higher; Bank of England Holds Rates
Arjun Kharpal, Holly Ellyatt
European stocks closed higher on Thursday, as upbeat trade on Wall Street boosted markets elsewhere.


FTSE FTSE 6731.68
58.37 0.87% 564925973
DAX DAX 10432.33
53.93 0.52% 61440553
CAC CAC 4376.35
6.09 0.14% 78338093
IBEX 35 IBEX 35 Idx 8727.30
24.90 0.29% 145094045

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up around 0.6 percent.
The U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended up around 0.9 percent, while the German DAX was 0.6 percent higher and the French CAC 40 was up 0.2 percent.
On Wall Street, Apple gained more than 3 percent, helping the Nasdaq composite outperform. In general, indexes were boosted by weak jobs data that was seen as boosting the chances of the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates on hold this month.

Apple suppliers seesaw

Apple's iPhone 7 goes on general sale on Friday and the company reported initial quantities of its larger-screen iPhone 7 Plus have sold out. The regular iPhone 7 has sold out in the "jet black" color.
The strong demand reported by Apple helped its shares rise on Wednesday, and this spilled over to its European suppliers.
Dialog Semiconductor was slightly higher. STMicro was higher while Austria Microsystems was in the red.

BoE unchanged

In the U.K., August retail sales rose 6.2 percent year-on-year, beating market expectations.

The Bank of England (BoE) also met on Thursday and left interest rates unchanged at 0.25 percent. The central bank raised its third-quarter growth forecast however to 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter from a previous estimate of 0.1 percent. It also said inflation would rise to the bank's 2 percent target in the first half of 2017.

Autos brake

New car sales in the European Union rose 10 percent in August, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association.
Volkswagen Group's European sales were up 6.3 percent in August, Renault grew 14.6 percent, while Fiat also increased sales.
Auto stocks were higher before turning negative, with Fiat Chrysler and Daimler was trading in the red and Renault hovering around the flatline. Volkswagen was trading lower.

Morrison shares rise

Retail stocks were also in focus for investors. British supermarket chain Morrison reported a rise in first-half profit and an increase in the interim dividend, sending shares higher.
Next shares were in negative territory after it reported profit before tax down 1.5 percent in the first half of the year.
Shares of H&M were down after it reported a 7 percent rise in August sales, but missed analyst forecasts.

Central banks in focus

In other business news, troubled Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS) has gained a new chief executive but has lost its chairman. Marco Morelli was named CEO on Wednesday but Massimo Toni resigned in a dispute over the bank's cash call. Shares in the lender were higher.
Elsewhere, markets in Asia opened lower on Thursday, following a mixed finish in the U.S. as oil prices dropped further and uncertainty lingered over key central bank policy meetings next week.
The U.S. Federal Reserve meets on September 20, although the chances of a rate hike remain slim; market expectations for a Fed rate hike next week were 15 percent, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool.