European equities closed higher on Wednesday, little changed after theEuropean Central Bank (ECB) announced its monetary policy decision.
The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index finished in positive territory, with all major bourses and sectors posting modest gains. The oil sectorwas an outperformer, due to a rally in the price of the commodity over the last two sessions.
The ECB announced it was holding its main interest rate at a record low of 0.05 percent on Wednesday.
In his regular press conference, ECB chief Mario Draghi dismissed fears of a Greek default and a bubble in bond markets. He said he he was unready to even “contemplate” a default by Greece, as ECB policymakers approved increasing emergency funding for Greek banks, according to media reports.
EU files charges against Google
Frankfurt-listed shares of Google closed line with the DAX index after the European Commission filed antitrust charges against the tech giant. It said Google had exploited its dominant position in the Internet search market.
U.S. stocks traded higher on Wednesday as investors continued to digest financial earnings and economic reports.
Alcatel slumps on Nokia bid
In other stock news, shares of Alcatel-Lucent finished around 15 percent lower after Nokia confirmed it planned to buy the Franco-American telecom company for 15.6 billion euros ($16.6 billion). This reversed a similar-sized rally on Tuesday after “advanced” deal talks were announced.
Media reports suggested Alcatel shareholders were disappointed because they had hoped for a part-cash offer. S&P Capital IQ cut its rating on Alcatel to “hold” from “buy.”
Nokia shares rallied as much as 2 percent, before slipping to close around 1.5 percent lower.
Ireland’s Smurfit Kappa slipped around 2.7 percent after the paper manufacturer announced it was acquiring the U.K.’s Inspirepac.
Danone shares rose over 2 percent after the French food manufacturer released sales figures for its first quarter that beat expectations.