- The euro zone''s M3 money supply grew less-than-expected in December, while private loans declined for the 20th consecutive month, official data showed on Wednesday.

In a report, the European Central Bank said M3 money supply in the single currency bloc rose at annualized rate of 1% last month, below expectations for a 1.7% increase. M3 money supply in the euro zone rose 1.5% in the preceding month.

Loans to private sector declined at a pace of 2.3% annually last month, in line with expectations, after falling 2.3% in November.

Following the release of the data, the euro was little changed against the U.S. dollar, with EUR/USD inching up 0.02% to trade at 1.3674.

Meanwhile, European stock markets remained higher. The EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.75%, France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.85%, Germany''s DAX tacked on 0.9%, while London’s FTSE 100 picked up 0.8%.

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