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European Shares Slide On Syria Tensions


European stocks were subdued on Wednesday after rising to their highest level in about a month the previous day as China softened its trade rhetoric and said it is willing to open up its economy.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.20 percent at 377.67 in late opening deals after climbing 0.8 percent in the previous session.

The German DAX, France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 were down between 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent as the rising risk of a real war in Syria kept investors nervous.

Russia has threatened to shoot down any U.S. missiles fired at neighboring Syria if the U.S. decides to strike Syrian bases in response to a chemical attack.

Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut tumbled 3.7 percent after its Q2 profit missed forecasts.

Air France shares gained 1.5 percent. The airline has reportedly asked striking unions to resume talks after doubling the 1 percent immediate pay increase previously offered.

Evotec jumped 2 percent after it announced a strategic collaboration with Petra Pharma Corp.

Deutsche Telekom soared 3.5 percent after reports that Sprint and T-Mobile have decided to restart talks to merge.

Grocer Tesco jumped almost 6 percent after its operating profits in the last three months of its financial year rose 28 percent.

In economic news, French manufacturing confidence deteriorated in March, survey data from Bank of France showed. The corresponding index fell to 103 from 105 in February. The score was forecast to remain unchanged at 105.

U.K. industrial output edged up 0.1 percent month-on-month in February, compared to January's 1.3 percent increase, the Office for National Statistics said. Production was expected to climb 0.4 percent.

Another report showed that the U.K. trade deficit narrowed more-than-expected to -0.97bn in February.

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