European Equity Benchmarks Close Mixed

The broad-based major European indices closed mixed in Friday’s trading session, as utilities stocks and real estate firms lifted the continental markets, while mining stocks weighed down the London exchange. In economic news, the European Union has released guidelines on how it will extricate the U.K. from the bloc, saying it will take a “phased approach” to the divorce proceedings.

“The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the Union creates significant uncertainties that have the
potential to cause disruption, in particular in the U.K., but also in other Member States,” said European Council President Donald Tusk. “Any agreement with the United Kingdom will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations, and ensure a level-playing field.”

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.5% in March 2017, down from 2.0% in February 2017, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Among the main components of inflation, energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in March (7.3%, compared with 9.3% in February), followed by food, alcohol & tobacco (1.8%, compared with 2.5% in February), services (1.0%, compared with 1.3% in February) and non-energy industrial goods (0.2%, stable compared with February)

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