LONDON (The Deal) -- Global indices were mixed on Thursday amid anxiousness about a weekend referendum in the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and ahead of jobs and retail sales data from the U.S.
Meanwhile, New Zealand became the first developed economy to break out from the low-rate huddle. The central bank lifted the benchmark rate to 2.75% from 2.5%. The country has enjoyed accelerating growth on the back of a boom in dairy exports to China and other Asian markets and the central bank's chief said the rate rise was designed to ensure monetary policy didn't fuel demand.
In London, the FTSE was little changed, up 0.01% at 6,621.63. The U.K.'s fourth-largest food retailer Wm Morrison Supermarkets, retail market leader Tesco, and No. 2 J Sainsbury all plunged after Morrison confirmed a slump in full-year profit, forecast a further decline in the current year and announced a restructuring designed to capture market share from the discounters.
In Frankfurt, the DAX rose 0.21% to 9,207.98. Airline Deutsche Lufthansa was up almost 6% after predicting a profit improvement in the current year and reinstating dividend payments.In Paris, the CAC-40 was up 0.29% at 4,318.90. In Zurich, recruitment services company Adecco was down more than 6% after its largest shareholder, Jacobs Holding AG, a family investment entity, sold a 16% stake for about Sfr21.6 million ($2.5 billion). In Tokyo, the Nikkei closed down 0.10% at 14,815.98. Hong Kong's Hang Seng missed out on the gains enjoyed by mainland indices to close down 0.67% at 21,756.08. Mainland indices moved higher following reports the country's securities regulator may start letting companies sell preferred shares, beginning with banks.