The broad-based major European indices closed mixed in Wednesday’s trading session, as mining and automotive stocks weighed down the London and Paris exchanges respectively, while utilities and pharmaceuticals boosted the German market. In economic news, euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.4% in May, down from 1.9% in April, 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 May (4.6%, compared with 7.6% in April), followed by food, alcohol and tobacco (1.5%, stable compared with April), services (1.3%, compared with 1.8% in April) and non-energy industrial goods (0.3%, stable compared with April).
Eurostat also reported that the unemployment rate was 9.3% in April in the euro area (EA19), down from 9.4% in March, and down from 10.2% in April of 2016. It is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since March 2009. The unemployment rate was 7.8% in April in EU28, down from 7.9% in March, and from 8.7% in April of last year. It is the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since December 2008.