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Market Update

European Markets Rebound, Weather Impacts UK Retail Sales Growth

Author: Jeffrey Gogo
Last Update: 10:03 AM ET April 18 2013

2:45 PM Frankfurt European markets rebounded a day after a rout in commodities price and weak auto sales across the currency zone. UK retail sales growth declined in March on the coldest temperatures since 1962. Portugal proposed new austerity measures.

Shares across Europe recovered, as investors stepped to take advantage of lower prices.

UK retail sales in March fell 0.7%, as Portugal agreed to slash spending by 0.5% of GDP.

The FTSE 100 index in London pared four-day losses to rebound 0.45% or 28.24 to 6,272.45 but miners dragged.

Resource stocks in Australia plunged 5% after copper prices dropped to a low last seen in September 2011.

In Frankfurt, the DAX rose 0.46% to 7,537.58 and the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.89% or 32.16 to 3,631.39.

UK Retail Sales Growth Falter on Weather

UK retail sales increased 0.7% in March after rising 2.1% rise in February due to freezing weather, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday.

Sales volumes fell 0.5% from a year ago although in value terms retail sales rose 0.1%. Non-food sales declined 4%, the biggest fall in three years, as shoppers kept indoors and temperatures dropped to the lowest in the month since 1962.

Food sales increased 0.9% while online shopping surged 6%, reflecting the consumer indoor trends in March. ""Feedback from department stores, clothing stores and household goods stores suggested that sales were dampened by the weather, they prepared their stores for the spring season,"" the ONS said.

In other news, Mark Carney, former head of central bank in Canada, is set to replace Mervin King as chief of the Bank of England in July.

Portugal Replaces Austerity Measures

Portugal agreed Thursday to cut expenditure by 800 million euros or 0.5 percentage point of gross domestic product, paving way for the release of the next 2 billion euro installment of aid.

The Portuguese government is now positioned to meet its 2013 budget deficit target of 5.5% of GDP, Budget secretary Luis Sarmento said.

Portugal suffered 1.3 billion euros deficit in March after the constitutional court rejected several austerity measures.

Bond Yields Fall

The costs of borrowing fell across the euro zone. Spain sold 4.71 billion euros of 10-year bonds at an average yield of 4.61%, higher than the targeted 4.5 billion euros.

The euro gained 0.27% against the dollar.

The French debt sale raised 7.91 billion euros at a lower yield of 0.73%, down 0.17 basis points from the previous sale four weeks ago. The yield for Italy''s bonds slipped to 4.19%.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc