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The European Central Bank kept rates on hold at 4 percent, as expected, on Thursday, sticking to its mandate to fight inflation at any cost. Economists now think the possibility of monetary easing is more likely as late as the fourth quarter.
Wall Street banks are the first to be blamed for the credit crunch. Central banks come a close second, but as the Federal Reserve's image is suffering, the European Central Bank looks as solid as a rock.
The European Central Bank's mission to fight inflation prevents it from worrying about economic weakness. But an abrupt slowdown could anger politicians and endanger the central bank's very mandate.
European shares snapped a two-day winning streak to end Tuesday 1 percent lower, led down by banks on persistent worries of more losses from a global credit crisis, and by weakness in technology shares.
The European Union is unveiling plans Monday to allow passengers on flights in European airspace to use mobile telephones.
A breakup of Swiss bank UBS would not be possible at the moment but it should be thoroughly restructured to bring it back on course, Luqman Arnold, chairman of investment company Olivant and former president of UBS, told CNBC Europe.
Deepening concern over the state of the U.S. economy and its impact on Europe will lead to further uncertainty in European stock markets next week, as investors look to interest-rate decisions from major central banks for reassurance.
Italy's government scrambled to salvage Air France-KLM's collapsed deal to buy Alitalia on Thursday, promising to keep the airline flying despite a looming cash crisis.
Euro zone retail sales turned out much weaker than expected in February, contracting on the back of falls in Germany and Spain and reinforcing concerns about the outlook for economic growth.
Euro zone services growth slowed further last month as the credit crunch tightened its grip, while price pressures hit a 9-month high, according to final data from a survey of businesses published on Thursday.
Jerome Kerviel, at the center of a rogue trading scandal at French bank Societe Generale, has not launched any legal action against his past employer for now, a lawyer representing the former trader said.
Air France-KLM has abandoned talks with Alitalia's unions after refusing to accept their demands, a union source said.
The $19 billlion writedown at UBS has cheered some investors who think that the worst of the credit crunch is now over. But the European Central Bank still faces the prospect of falling growth and rising prices.
Sodexo, the French food and facilities management services group, said on Wednesday fiscal first-half sales rose 9.2 percent on an underlying basis.
France's Pernod Ricard won a hotly contested auction on Monday to buy the maker of Sweden's Absolut vodka for 5.63 billion euro ($8.87 billion), beating favourite Jim Beam bourbon-maker Fortune Brands.
A look at the data and happenings that shaped the first quarter for European businesses and markets.
After a dismal first quarter, investors look forward to what the spring has in store; but apart from a new gold rush and the euro rising further, there seems to be little to anticipate.
European stocks closed slightly lower Friday, as hopes for a near-term interest rate cut from the European Central Bank diminished on signs of growing inflation pressures in the euro zone.
Alitalia's unions in a joint statement on Friday sharply criticised Air France-KLM's modified plan on job cuts, but said they planned to attend a Monday meeting with the two carriers' management.
Euro zone price pressures are "alarmingly high," threatening medium-term price stability, and first quarter growth in the bloc could exceed expectations, European Central Bank officials said on Friday.