In data news, the Office for National Statistics said U.K. gross domestic product rose 0.7% quarter-on-quarter in the final three months of 2013, unrevised from a preliminary estimate and in line with expectations. Year-on-year, the economy expanded by 1.8%, down from the previously estimated 1.9%.Investors in London largely ignored the data, with the FTSE 100 index staying lower after the data, off 0.4% to 6,801.85.
In Germany, a forward-looking gauge of consumer confidence rose to a seven-year highin March, suggesting the German economy is gaining broad-based strength.Also in Frankfurt, Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. declined 1.6% after UBS cut the health-care firm to neutral from buy.
France’s CAC 40 index dropped 0.5% to 4,392.22. Shares of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton gave up 1.6% after Credit Suisse cut the luxury-goods firm to underperform from neutral. The analysts said LVMH is likely to underperform its peers in 2014 despite a diversified portfolio of brands with solid market positions and a strong management team.