Europe ends over 1% lower after Draghi disappoints

European markets closed lower on Thursday after European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi's regular press conference revealed that any further monetary easing measures would not be instituted until next year.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index closed around 1.3 percent lower, after extending losses in afternoon trade.

The German benchmark DAX index provisionally closed 1.2 percent lower, the French CAC unofficially ended 1.7 percent lower and London's FTSE closed down around 0.6 percent.


Shares moved lower after the ECB dramatically cut economic growth and inflation forecasts but kept monetary policy unchanged, despite calls from some analysts for further stimulus measures.

Draghi said the bank would review measures early next year—and stressed that "early" did not necessarily mean it would act immediately after its January meeting.

Draghi's comments also saw U.S. stocks fall off record highs. However, Wall Street regained strength after European markets had closed.

Airlines soar

Back in Europe, the travel and leisure sector outperformed after the U.K. government announced it was scrapping taxes on children's airfares.

EasyJet shares closed almost 3 percent higher, while rival budget airline Ryanair surged over 8 percent, gaining an additional boost after it raised its profit guidance. Tui Travel climbed over 3 percent after it beat annual profit forecasts.

Bank of England holds rates, bond purchases

The Bank of England held its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percent on Thursday, prompted by feeble wage growth, relatively low inflation and stagnation in the euro zone. The bank also maintained its bond portfolio at £375 billion ($588 billion).

Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual address, in which he accused Western powers of "pure cynicism" over Ukraine.

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