European Equity Benchmarks Close Flat

The broad-based major European indices were relatively flat in Wednesday’s trading session, with banks and home builders helping edge the markets into positive territory.

In economic news, euro area annual inflation rose to 1.1% in December, up from 0.6% in November, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. That puts inflation at its highest level since 2013.

Among the main components of inflation, energy was expected to have the highest annual rate in December (2.5%, compared with -1.1% in November), followed by services (1.2%, compared with 1.1% in November), food, alcohol & tobacco (1.2%, compared with 0.7% in November) and non-energy industrial goods (0.3%, stable compared with November).

Meanwhile, IHS Markit reported that the end of 2016 saw the eurozone economy maintain a robust pace of expansion. “Output growth accelerated to a 67-month high to round off the best quarter of the year,” said IHS Markit in its report. “However, price pressures continued to mount, with inflation of both input costs and output charges gathering pace.”

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