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European Shares Inch Higher In Cautious Trade


European stocks were modestly higher on Thursday as investors digested merger and acquisition news and awaited further details on progress towards U.S. tax reform.

The dollar advanced against its peers, bolstered by reports that the U.S. Congress is on track to approve legislation that would avert a partial government shutdown over the weekend.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.3 percent at 387.40 in late opening deals after declining 0.1 percent the previous day.

The German DAX was rising half a percent, France's CAC 40 index was moving up 0.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.2 percent.

French telecommunications firm Orange rallied 2 percent. The company targets growth in adjusted EBITDA of around 2 percent in 2017, followed by an acceleration of the growth rate in 2018 and continued growth in 2019 and 2020.

Shares of RM Plc jumped around 15 percent in London after the educational ICT and resources group said it expects results for the financial year ended November 30, 2017 to be ahead of expectations.

Ladbrokes Coral shares surged nearly 25 percent after bookmaker GVC Holdings offered to buy the gambling giant for £3.9 billion ($5.2 billion).

German energy firm Uniper lost 1 percent despite confirming its earnings outlook for the current year and promising higher dividend next year.

Furniture retailer Steinhoff slumped 30 percent to extend Wednesday's slump, hit by news of the launch of an investigation into accounting irregularities.

In economic releases, French trade deficit widened to 5.0 billion euros in October from 4.6 billion euros in September, the customs office reported. The French current account deficit narrowed to 2.2 billion euros in October from 3.3 billion euros in September.

German industrial production fell 1.4 percent month-on-month in October, following a revised 0.9 percent drop in September, data from Destatis showed. Production was forecast to rebound 0.9 percent.

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