- Retail sales in the euro zone rose more-than-expected in January, easing concerns over the region’s economic outlook, official data showed on Wednesday.

In a report, Eurostat said retail sales increased by a seasonally adjusted 1.6% in January, easily surpassing expectations for a 0.8% gain. Retail sales fell 1.3% in December, whose figure was revised from a previously reported drop of 1.6%.

Year-over-year, retail sales in the euro zone rose at an annualized rate of 1.3% in January from a year earlier, compared to expectations for a 0.4% decline, after dropping 0.4% in December.

Following the release of the data, the euro remained modestly lower against the U.S. dollar, with EUR/USD shedding 0.08% to trade at 1.3731.

Meanwhile, European stock markets held on to mild losses. The EURO STOXX 50 dipped 0.15%, France''s CAC 40 slumped 0.3%, Germany''s DAX edged down 0.2%, while London’s FTSE 100 shed 0.45%.

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