European markets drifted down, waiting for the Federal Reserve minutes later today. Banks and mining stocks were broadly stronger, but retail and utilities were more uncertain. Italy¿s unemployment figure went up to 12.7%, a reminder of the weak Eurozone recovery. U.K. supermarket chain J. Sainsbury spiked in early trading on better than expected Christmas numbers, but then slipped when its finance director said like-for-like results for the full year would be disappointing. Maternity wear heavyweight Mothercare fell nearly 30% on a profit warning.

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