European shares closed flat-to-lower on Thursday, pressured by downbeat data from the U.S. that included a jump in jobless claims and a drop in housing starts.
Weekly U.S. jobless claims jumped by 32,000 to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, according to the Labor Department, climbing at the fastest pace in six months. Meanwhile, housing starts fell 16.5 percent in April to a 853,000-unit annual rate, well below expectations.
In economic releases, euro zone consumer price inflation showed a drop to 1.2 percent on an annual basis in April, down from 1.7 percent in March, according to official statistics.
Meanwhile, fellow FTSE component Antofagasta reported a drop in first-quarter earnings due to lower copper and gold prices; shares were largely unaffected.