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Europe closes down despite upbeat euro zone data

European shares closed slightly down on Wednesday, despite a slew of positive data being released for the euro zone.

Wait-and-see mode

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed provisionally down 0.1 percent at 1,376.84 points, although some bourses posted slight gains, including the FTSE MIB.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
FTSE
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DAX
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CAC 40
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IBEX 35
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Data had revealed euro zone economic sentiment rose more than expected in May and inflation expectations also improved for the first time since December.

However, money supply data also released on Wednesday morning showed that banks were continuing to show little appetite for lending in the region.

Meanwhile, French consumer spending for April fell 0.3 percent compared to month before, and producer prices saw a 0.1 percent monthly decline in April. France's CAC 40 index closed down around 0.1 percent.

After the market close, data from France showed unemployment rose 0.4 percent in April month-on-month, in a further blow to President Francois Hollande.

The DAX closed provisionally down 0.1 percent after Germany's May unemployment figures rose 24,000, a rise the Labour Office attributed to the mild weather over the winter.

Elsewhere, a promising business confidence survey in Portugal helped the country's stocks to outperform the greater market. The PSI 20 Index closed up around 1.1 percent on Wednesday.

U.S. stocks dipped on Wednesday with investors skittish as benchmark Treasury yields fell to lows not seen since last summer.

GSK falls

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline shares closed down after reports it was under investigation by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office. GSK faces allegations in a number of other countries, like China, where it has been accused of bribing government and hospital officials.

Shares of Royal Ahold also closed down after it reported first-quarter earnings. The retail company highlighted a margin squeeze in its U.S. and Dutch markets.

Read MoreAhold suffers margin squeeze in US, Netherlands

In better news, Telecom Italia shares closed up nearly 4 percent after Goldman Sachs raised its price target on the firm.

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