Markets are flat early in the European trading session.
Britain’s FTSE 100 is up 0.1%.
France’s CAC 40 is flat.
Germany’s DAX is flat.
Spain’s IBEX is up 0.5%.
Italy’s FTSE MIB is up 0.3%.
Later today, the European Central Bank will hold its latest monetary policy meeting.
“Many believe persistent low inflation will force the ECB to ease further this year, but only three of the 57 economists polled by Bloomberg expect such an announcement to come out of Thursday’s meeting,” noted Business Insider’s Matthew Boesler. “However, many forecasters already flagged March as the likely bottom for the inflation rate. One frequently-cited explanation for the drop was the unusual timing of Easter in 2013. It was in March instead of April, which may have temporarily caused year-on-year comparisons to fall in March this year before potentially staging a rebound in April.”
Earlier today, we learned that the Eurozone’s Markit Composite Output PMI slipped to 53.1 in March from 53.3 in February, which signals a slight deceleration in the economy.
“The final PMI data for March round off the region’s best quarter for three years, with the survey data signalling that the economy grew by 0.5% compared to the fourth quarter,” said Markit’s Chris Williamson.
“The surveys also confirm that the recovery is broad-based. The upturn is being spearheaded by Germany, which PMI data suggest grew by 0.7% in the first quarter. Spain looks set to have enjoyed its best quarter for six years, growing by 0.5%. Italy meanwhile has enjoyed its best spell of growth for three years, being on course to have expanded by 0.3%. France continues to lag behind, but is nevertheless the biggest news story in March with its PMI hitting a two-and-a-half-year high and suggesting the economy achieved modest growth.”
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