European Stocks Flat as Eurozone Growth Misses Forecasts

LONDON ( The Deal) -- European stocks were little changed on Thursday after a mixed day in Asia as GDP figures highlighted the divergent paths of major world economies.

The eurozone economy expanded 0.2% quarter on quarter, and 0.9% on the year, slightly below expectations, as French and Italian data disappointed while German expansion beat forecasts. Consumer price growth in the eurozone accelerated on an annual basis in April, separate data showed, with the core inflation rate at 1%.

Earlier in the day, Japanese data showed the economy expanded 5.9% in the first quarter, beating forecasts. The rise came ahead of an April sales tax rise which some economists worry could lead to a second-quarter contraction.

U.S. April consumer price data and weekly jobs data, out at 8.30 a.m. EDT, could set the tone for the afternoon session in Europe.

In London, the FTSE was down 0.02% at 6,876.97. In Frankfurt, the DAX edged up 0.02% at 9,756.07. The CAC in Paris slipped 0.20% to 4,491.82.

In Paris, Alstom slipped after the French government awarded itself new powers to intervene in takeovers. That could derail General Electric's (GE) agreed $15.6 billion bid for Alstom's power unit, an offer the government has said it opposes.

Luxury goods maker Cie. Financiere Richemont, the owner of the Cartier and Montblanc brands, was up almost 5% after posting rising full-year results and profit and disclosing revenue had increased in all its geographical markets apart from Japan.

In Frankfurt, postal services operator Deutsche Post slipped after first-quarter earnings fell short of estimates.

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