European stocks steady as eurozone factory output falls

<p>Factory output in the eurozone fell in November, but the major stock indices have held their ground.</p>

The major European stock benchmarks have held their ground in trading this afternoon (January 14th) after official figures revealed factory output for the eurozone fell again in November 2012.

Manufacturing activity slumped by 0.3 per cent, according to Eurostat, marking the third month in a row of sliding data, with Spain and Portugal experiencing the sharpest slips of 2.5 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively.

However, the pace of decline appears to be easing and November's dip is far less steep than the one per cent decrease experienced in October.

Nevertheless, the fall occurred in spite of analysts' forecasts that the industry would experience a gain in the latter part of the year, meaning production now stands at 3.7 per cent lower than one year previously.

At 12:20 GMT, the pan-European DJ Eurostoxx index rose by 0.3 per cent to 2725.9 points, while the Dax in Frankfurt rallied by 0.5 per cent to 7759.7 points.

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