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European Markets Finish Mixed Despite Easing Tensions In Spain

The European markets moved in a sideways pattern throughout Wednesday's session and ended the day with mixed results. The Spanish stock market rallied after Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont refrained from making a formal declaration of the region's independence yesterday.

The easing tensions in Spain sparked further gains for the Euro, driving the currency to a 2-week high against the U.S. dollar. Strength in the Euro weighed on shares of European exporters.

Traders were also in a cautious mood ahead of the release of the minutes from the most recent meeting of the Federal Reserve later today. Investors are hopeful that the minutes may shed some additional light on the Fed's outlook for interest rates.

The German economy gained momentum and it is set to continue to grow in coming years, the Economy Ministry said Wednesday. Gross domestic product is forecast to grow 2 percent this year instead of 1.5 percent projected earlier. Likewise, the outlook for 2018 was raised to 1.9 percent from 1.6 percent.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index weakened by 0.02 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks increased 0.24 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 0.10 percent.

The DAX of Germany climbed 0.17 percent, but the CAC 40 of France fell 0.02 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 0.06 percent, but the SMI of Switzerland finished lower by 0.02 percent.

In Frankfurt, drug delivery devices maker Gerresheimer climbed 1.44 percent after unveiling its third-quarter results.

GEA Group surged 5.75 percent after activist investor Paul Singer bought a stake of just over 3 percent in the food processing machinery firm.

In London, Unilever rose 0.99 percent after launching the €450m buyback of its Dutch preference shares.

Smith & Nephew rallied 3.09 percent after Paul Singer's hedge fund Elliott Management reportedly built a stake in the medical device maker.

Mondi shares plunged 7.80 percent after the company said its annual results would be slightly lower than analysts' expectations.

Eurozone house prices increased at a steady pace in the second quarter, Eurostat reported Wednesday. House prices increased 3.8 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, the same rate as seen in the first quarter.

Spain's inflation accelerated for the second straight month, as initially estimated, in September, final data from statistical office INE showed Wednesday. Consumer price inflation rose to 1.8 percent in September from 1.6 percent in August. This was the highest inflation in four months and matched flash estimate published on September 28.

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