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European Markets Finish Mostly Lower After Recovery Fizzles

The European markets traded in positive territory for the majority of Friday's session, but pared their gains going into the close. The majority of the markets ended the day in the red, after recovery efforts lost steam heading into the weekend.

Markets in Asia bounced back in overnight trade and markets on Wall Street also recovered some ground Friday. Bargain hunting appears to have played a role in the recovery, as investors stepped in to buy stocks at reduced prices.

However, traders remain in a cautious mood, uncertain whether a bottom has been reached.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index weakened by 0.19 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks decreased 0.45 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 0.43 percent.

The DAX of Germany dropped 0.13 percent and the CAC of France fell 0.20 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 0.16 percent, but the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.25 percent.

In Frankfurt, online retailer Zalando jumped 2.38 percent after Credit Suisse Group set a €40.00 ($46.51) price target on the stock.

In London, Rio Tinto rallied 1.25 percent. The mining giant said that it expects aluminum demand growth to be about 3.2 percent per annum next 5 years.

Man Group sank 3.47 percent after the hedge fund reported an increase in funds under management in the third quarter.

Emerging markets asset manager Ashmore Group gained 0.81 percent after its assets under management grew by $2.5 billion during the three months to the end of September.

Sports Direct advanced 1.94 percent after acquiring a property in Glasgow.

Eurozone industrial production grew more-than-expected in August, data from Eurostat revealed Friday. Industrial production climbed 1 percent on a monthly basis, reversing 0.7 percent drop each in June and July. Output was expected to rise moderately by 0.4 percent.

Germany's consumer price inflation accelerated to its highest level in nearly seven years in September, final data from Destatis revealed Friday. Consumer prices advanced 2.3 percent on year, the fastest since November 2011, when inflation was 2.4 percent. Prices had advanced only 2 percent in August.

China's exports grew more-than-expected in September despite the worsening trade dispute with the U.S., but the increase in imports slowed, reflecting softening domestic demand, figures from the Customs Administration revealed Friday.

Exports grew 14.5 percent year-on-year in September, faster than the 9.8 percent increase seen in August and the expected increase of 8.8 percent.

At the same time, imports advanced 14.3 percent annually compared to the forecast of 12.4 percent and August's 19.9 percent rise.

As a result, the trade surplus increased to around $32 billion in September, but below the forecast of $38 billion.

Reflecting a substantial rebound in fuel prices, the Labor Department released a report on Friday showing a much bigger than expected increase in U.S. import prices in the month of September.

The Labor Department said import prices climbed by 0.5 percent in September after falling by a revised 0.4 percent in August.

Economists had expected import prices to rise by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.6 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the report said export prices came in unchanged in September after slipping by a revised 0.2 percent in August.

Export prices had also been expected to increase by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.1 percent dip originally reported for the previous month.

With consumers offering less favorable assessments of their personal finances, the University of Michigan released a report on Friday unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of October.

The preliminary report showed the consumer sentiment index dipped to 99.0 in October from the final September reading of 100.1. The drop surprised economists, who had expected the index to inch up to 100.4.

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