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European Indexes End Mixed

A roundup of Wednesday's action on major European exchanges

LONDON

The FTSE 100 pared losses to close flat in a news- and data-heavy day, with the spotlight firmly on financial stocks on both sides of the Atlantic. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got the go-ahead to invest in the tottering US mortgage market, which offset a wider-than-expected quarterly loss from Fannie. Wall Street turned around from an earlier slump to trade higher. Datawise, new orders for durable goods in the US fell the most in last 5M. At home, disappointing earnings from HBOS (-6.81%) and OLD MUTUAL (-3.50%) weighed. WTI was below US$100/bbl after EIA said crude supply rose for the 7th straight week. BP (-0.88%) said it may sell its green energy unit as a part of current restructuring. In earnings, mortgage lender HBOS said FY underlying PTP rose 3% to GBP5.798bn, just below estimates. Insurer ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE (+0.35%) unveiled a forecast-beating FY NAV of 91p/sh, up 11%, with net written premiums rising 6% to GBP5.8bn. OLD MUTUAL's op profit fell by 5%, missing ests. Big trades in RBS (-0.85%) of 50m shares and in LLOYDS TSB (-1.24%) of 30m shares attracted attention. India-focused miner VEDANTA (+6.13%) jumped in late trade on Chinese stake-building talk and a rally in zinc prices. In other results, LOGICACMG (-3.88%) posted a 2% rise in FY adj op profit and painted a cautious outlook. BARRATT (+2.89%) said 1H PTP rose 14.3%, adding in first 7 weeks visitor levels had improved significantly vs 2H.