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European Shares Drift Lower As Investors Await US Tariff Hike

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European stocks were subdued on Tuesday as investors awaited fresh developments in U.S.-China trade tensions for direction.

In economic releases, German economic sentiment improved more-than-expected in September, survey data from the Centre for European Economic Research, or ZEW, showed.

The economic sentiment indicator climbed to -10.6 from -13.7 in August while economists forecast a modest improvement in the index to -13.5.

Eurozone employment increased at a steady pace in the second quarter, Eurostat data showed. Employment increased 0.4 percent sequentially in the second quarter, the same rate as seen in the first quarter.

Separately, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that the U.K. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4 percent in three months to July, the lowest since 1975.

The number of unemployed decreased by 55,000 from previous three months to 1.36 million.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.4 percent at 374.03 in late opening deals after rising half a percent on Monday.

The German DAX and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 were down around 0.6 percent, while France's CAC 40 index was declining 0.2 percent.

The British pound advanced further against rivals after European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Monday that a Brexit deal was "realistic in six to eight weeks".

Mining stocks were moving lower, with Antofagasta, Glencore and Anglo American losing 1-2 percent.

Cairn Energy slumped 4.7 percent after it slipped to a pre-tax loss in the first half of the year.

ArcelorMittal shares fell 2.5 percent. According to Bloomberg, the steel manufacturer has lifted its offer for India's Essar Steel India Ltd. to about 420 billion rupees ($5.8 billion).

Novartis jumped nearly 2 percent. Alcon, the eye care unit of the Swiss drug major, has announced its plans to locate its future global headquarters in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, following completion of its proposed spinoff from Novartis.

Swiss bakery business Aryzta soared 12.7 percent after nominating three new directors to its board.

Shares of Amer Sports Oyj rose as much as 22 percent after the company received takeover interest from an investor group backed by a Chinese company.

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