The average earnings index in the U.K. increased less than expected in the three months to January, official data showed on Wednesday. In a report, the U.K. Office for National Statistics said that the average earnings index, including bonuses, rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.8% in the three months to January, missing forecasts for a gain of 2.2% and after increasing by 2.1% in the three months to December. Excluding bonuses, wages rose by 1.6% in the three months to January, below expectations for a gain of 1.8% and following a 1.7% increase in the three months to December. GBP/USD was trading at 1.4700 from around 1.4748 ahead of the release of the data, while EUR/GBP was at 0.7212 from 0.7188 earlier. Meanwhile, European stock markets remained mostly lower. London’s FTSE 100 tacked on 0.4%, the EURO STOXX 50 shed 0.3%, France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.2%, while Germany’s DAX declined 0.35%.