U.K. trade balance -9.09B vs. -9.20B forecast

The U.K.’s trade deficit narrowed more-than-expected in February, with both exports and imports falling, according to official data released on Wednesday.

The Office of National Statistics reported that the U.K. trade deficit narrowed to £9.09 billion from a downwardly revised deficit of £9.46 billion in January.

Analysts had expected the trade deficit to shrink to £9.20 billion.

Exports in February fell by 1.6% to £23.547 billion, lowest since November 2010, the ONS said, while imports were down 2.2% to £32.641 billion, the lowest since April 2011.

Following the release of the data, the pound remained steady close to one-month highs against the softer U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD dipping 0.01% to 1.6745.

Meanwhile, European stock markets remained broadly higher. London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.84%, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 climbed 0.58%, France's CAC 40 added 0.58%, while Germany's DAX gained 0.51%.