Europe Markets

Europe ends lower after weak US data, German GDP misses

Europe ends lower after weak US data

European equities reversed earlier gains to end lower on Wednesday with investors reacting to weaker-than-expected U.S. retail data, corporate earnings and new economic data from the euro zone.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 index closed 0.2 percent lower, after most major bourses turned lower on the U.S. data.

London's FTSE 100 closed provisionally 0.1 percent higher, while the French CAC finished around 0.4 percent lower.

Germany's DAX tumbled to close 1.2 percent lower, after its economic growth figures missed expectations.

More broadly, GDP growth figures for the euro zone showed expansion of 0.4 percent for the first quarter of 2015, below market estimates, but better than in the U.S.

France's economy was shown gathering pace, but Greece was back in a technical recession.

Read MoreEuro zone GDP comes in at 0.4% in Q1, below estimates

Retail sales data in the U.S. for April were flat, with the ex-autos figure up just 0.1 percent, below estimates of a 0.5 percent gain. The U.S. dollar hit its lowest level in around three months on Wednesday after the data, supporting the euro as investors pushed the expectations of a interest rate rise further into the future.

U.S. stocks traded narrowly mixed on Wednesday, with bond yields advancing towards recent highs.

Back in Europe, shares of FTSE 100-listed Mondi closed nearly 9 percent higher, after the paper firm highlighted a first-quarter rise of 29 percent for its operating profit.

U.K. housebuilder Barratt announced strong demand and rising sales in a trading update on Wednesday; shares closed around 4 percent higher.

In the U.K., the Bank of England delivered its inflation report on Wednesday, in which it cut its growth forecasts and said inflation would remain low this year. U.K. unemployment data for March was also released, showing that the country's jobless rate has fallen to its lowest since mid-2008.

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