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Europe close: Stocks end mostly lower despite positive inflation data

(Sharecast News) - European equity markets were mostly on Friday, even as inflation registered a welcome fall in the Continent's largest economy, Germany. The pan-European Stoxx 600 drifted lower by 0.09% to 484.83, alongside a 0.22% dip for the German Dax to 16,926.50.

Italy's FTSE Mib was the exception, managing to add 0.3% to 31,156.06.

German inflation fell to 2.9% January in line with preliminary data and down from 3.7% in December, driven by a sharp fall in energy costs, according to official data released on Friday.

There was a sharp drop in energy inflation to -2.8% from 4.1% in December, despite the discontinuation of the brake on energy prices and the introduction of a higher carbon price, which affects the price of fossil fuels such as motor fuels, heating oil and natural gas.

"In the markets, it's been a flat old week in Europe with little in the way of direction or movement for the major indices, despite a bunch of corporate earnings ... macro is maybe still in charge here and the bond markets haven't done much either. The CAC in Paris has risen almost 1% this week but the DAX and FTSE are within a quarter of a percent of where they started," said Finalto chief market analyst Neil Wilson.

In equity news, shares in Sweco plunged 15% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after the Swedish engineering and architecture consultancy company missed fourth-quarter earnings expectations.

Shares in Ubisoft rose 14% in early deals as the French video game company pointed to a "turnaround" in its output in its latest earnings report.

L'Oreal shares were down 8% after reporting lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales Thursday in a sign of continued pressure on the luxury market.

Luxury goods maker Hermes gained 5% as results pleased investors.

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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