01:08 PM EDT, 03/20/2017 (MT Newswires) -- The broad-based major European indices closed mostly lower in Monday's trading session, as banks and automobile manufacturers weighed down the markets.
In economic news, the job vacancy rate in the euro area (EA19) was 1.7% in Q4 of 2016, up from 1.6% recorded in both the previous quarter and Q4 of 2015, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The job vacancy rate in the EU28 was 1.8% in Q4 of 2016, stable compared with the previous quarter, and up from 1.7% for the same period the previous year. The job vacancy rate measures the proportion of total posts that are vacant, expressed as a percentage
The highest job vacancy rates were recorded in the Czech Republic (3.0%), Belgium (2.9%), Germany (2.6%), and the U.K. (2.5%), while the lowest was in Greece (0.3%), Cyprus (0.6%), Spain, Poland and Portugal (all 0.7%) and Bulgaria (0.8%).
Eurostat also reported that hourly labor costs rose 1.6% in the euro area (EA19) and 1.7% in the EU28 in Q4 of 2016, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In Q4 of 2016, hourly labor costs increased 1.4% and 1.8% respectively.
In Germany, the index of producer prices for industrial products rose by 3.1% in Feb., compared with the same month last year. It was the highest annual rate of change since December 2011 (+3.5%). The price indices of all main industrial groups rose compared with Feb. 2016: Energy prices increased by 5.4%, though prices of the different energy carriers diverged; petroleum products increased by 22.7%; natural gas (distribution) decreased by 7.5%. Prices of intermediate goods rose by 3.3%, prices of non-durable consumer goods by 2.3%, and durable consumer goods increased by 1.1% and prices of capital goods by 0.9%. The overall index disregarding energy rose by 2.2% compared with Feb. 2016 and by 0.3% compared with Jan. 2017.
In equities, investment company 3i Group helped nudge the FTSE into positive territory, rising 1.8%, followed by supermarket operator J Sainsbury, and Direct Line Insurance, which rose 1.7% each. Food processing company Associated British Foods, and insurance company Old Mutual each closed 1.6% higher.
In Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank led the DAX lower falling 3.7% and 2.3% each. They were followed by airline operator Deutsche Lufthansa, industrial group ThyssenKrupp, and automaker Volkswagen, which dropped 1.6%, 1.2%, and 1.1% respectively.
And in Paris, oil company Total helped weigh down the CAC, falling 2.8%, followed by luxury goods retailer Kering, and banks BNP Paribas and Societe Generale, which dropped 1.4%, 1.1%, and 0.8% respectively. Automobile manufacturer Peugeot, and chemical and advanced materials company Solvay closed 0.8% lower.
The FTSE edged 0.07% higher, the DAX lost 0.35%, and the CAC-40 fell 0.34%.
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