LONDON ( The Deal) -- European stocks were mixed on Thursday as central banks outside the eurozone took divergent paths on rates and speculation increased that European Central Bank policymakers will engage in government bond buying to boost its balance sheet.
In London, gains from oil companies including BP (BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) had largely ebbed away by late morning and weren't enough to lift the FTSE 100, which was down 0.24% at 6,484.44. In Frankfurt, the DAX was up 0.59% at 9,857.92 and in Paris the CAC 40 climbed 0.30% to 4,240.43.
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In Frankfurt, the ECB said lenders had borrowed 129.84 billion euros ($161.6 billion) in its second tranche of cheap loans, up from 82.6 billion euros in September, with the lower-than-expected take-up stoking speculation policymakers will buy up government bonds, a process known as quantitative easing.
Norway's central bank surprised investors by cutting its main rate and suggesting another cut was in the cards as plunging oil prices jeopardize the Nordic economy. The bank cut the rate by 25 basis points to 1.25%, and sees a "50-50 chance" of another cut next year.
But in Moscow, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation raised rates by one percentage point to 10.5% to bolster the falling ruble. The Micex was down 0.39% following the decision.
In Switzerland, the central bank left benchmark rates unchanged at zero.