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European Markets Close Lower on Rising Bond Yields, Inflation
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 06 - 03 - 2021

European stocks ended lower yesterday, weighed down by rising US bond yields and concerns over
inflation, dpa reported.
The markets were also weighed down by US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments on Thursday that reopening of the economy will likely create some upward pressure on prices and that the central bank will be "patient" for now with regard to policy action even there is a transitory increase in inflation.
The pan European Stoxx 600 ended down 0.78 per cent. Britain's FTSE 100 declined 0.31 per cent, Germany's DAX slid 0.97 per cent, France's CAC 40 shed 0.82 per cent and Switzerland's SMI ended 1.32 per cent down. Despite today's losses, the CAC 40, DAX and the FTSE 100 gained 1.5 per cent, 1 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively this week. Among other markets in Europe, Belgium, Denmark, Finalnd, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine ended weak. The Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Portugal and Russia closed higher, while Austria ended flat.
In economic news, data from Destatis showed factory orders in Germany expanded 1.4 per cent month-on-month in January, reversing a revised 2.2-per-cent fall in the previous month. Orders were forecast to climb 0.7 per cent. France's trade deficit widened to 3.94 billion euros (4.69 billion dollars) from 3.57 billion euros in December, data from the customs office showed. In the same period last year, the shortfall was 5.23 billion euros. Exports grew 2.8 per cent on month and imports climbed 3.5 per cent in January from the previous month. On a yearly basis, exports and imports decreased 4.8 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively.
British house prices dropped for the second straight month in February, data released by the Lloyds Bank subsidiary Halifax and IHS Markit showed. House prices fell 0.1 per cent sequentially, slower than the 0.4-per-cent decline seen in January. The current national lockdown continued to weigh on hiring decisions in February, the latest KPMG and REC Report on Jobs revealed Friday. Permanent job placements fell for the second consecutive month, albeit at a softer pace than in January. At the same time, growth in temp billings eased to a seven-month low. In news from the US, a report from the Labor Department sid non-farm payroll employment jumped by 379,000 jobs in February after climbing by an upwardly revised 166,000 jobs in January. Economists had expected employment to increase by 182,000 jobs compared to the uptick of 49,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. The unemployment rate unexpectedly edged down to 6.2 per cent in February from 6.3 percent in January. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.

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