LONDOn (THe Deal) -- European stock indices edged lower on Wednesday and Asian equities closed mixed as falling money market rates boosted Chinese stocks.
Revised Office for National Statistics figures confirmed British GDP expanded by 0.7% in the fourth quarter, with the annual growth rate slipping 10 basis points from the ONS's initial estimate to 2.7%, still well up on the 1.9% third-quarter growth rate.
In Germany, better-than-expected consumer confidence index from research organization GfK registered its highest reading for seven years.
In London, the FTSE was down 0.31% at 6,809.05 by mid-morning and in Frankfurt the DAX slipped 0.06% to 9,693.90. In Paris, the CAC 40 was down 0.29% at 4,401.77.In Zurich, Credit Suisse (CS) fell as top executives prepare to face a Senate committee to answer charges the institution helped 22,000 clients dodge taxes. Bloomberg reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting a separate probe into the Swiss bank. In Brussels, brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) rose after posting fourth-quarter results slightly ahead of expectations as revenue growth accelerated. The company issued an optimistic prognosis for the the U.S., China and Brazilian markets, where it is a sponsoring the soccer World Cup later this year. In Madrid, oil producer Repsol rose after striking compensation deal worth at least $4.7 billion with the Argentine government, ending a long-running dispute after the state seized Repsol's majority owned YPF SA unit in May 2012. Repsol also posted near-static full-year revenue of 59.7 billion ($82 billion) euros and said net profit fell almost 20% to 1.5 billion euros. In Tokyo, the Nikkei closed down 0.54% at 14,970.97. Panasonic gained 5.3% following reports it is poised to invest $1 billion in a U.S. car battery plant planned by Tesla Motors (TSLA) as the Japanese company continues to diversify away from consumer appliances. The Hang Seng closed up 0.54% at 22,437.44, rising for the first time since Thursday, and mainland Chinese indices ended a four-day slid.
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