European stocks down as euro strengthens

<p>Traders also reacted to the US Federal Reserve’s statement.</p>

European equities edged down today (April 30th) as the euro strengthened to reach eight-week highs. The European currency is up 0.6 per cent on Thursday to $1.1198, its best level since the start of March.

It was pushed higher against the greenback after it emerged the eurozone escaped deflation in April and following fresh data showing the US economy expanded by only 0.2 per cent in the first three months of the year.

Traders also reacted to the US Federal Reserve's statement, which said the institution kept its zero interest rate policy unchanged, without offering any clues as to when it would start raising interest rates.

“September remains the most likely time for the Fed to move,” said David de Garis, senior economist at National Australia Bank, told The Financial Times.

“There are two meetings — June 18 and July 30 — before the September 18 meeting and it will take time for the Fed to be comfortable that the US economy has not dislodged from its underlying growth track,” he added. “How much of the recent softer growth is transitory is yet to play out?”

Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.1 per cent to 6,954.02 this morning, while France's CAC 40 edged down 0.1 per cent to 5,033.48. Germany's DAX was up 0.1 per cent to 11,442.19.

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