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European Markets Finish Mixed As Trade Concerns Persist

The European markets ended Friday's session with mixed results. The markets endured their biggest pullback in months this week due to the persistent worries about global trade. Traders are keeping a close eye on the Trump administration following the expiration of a public comment period on new U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Meanwhile, Canadian and U.S. foreign affairs ministers will resume their talks on updating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canadian minister Chrystia Freeland has reportedly called the brief meeting she had with the U.S. minister on Thursday as constructive.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.07 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks decreased 0.09 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.10 percent.

The DAX of Germany climbed 0.04 percent and the CAC of France rose 0.16 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 0.59 percent, but the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.28 percent.

In Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank declined 1.41 percent on reports that HNA Group is looking to sell its 7.6 percent stake in the company.

In London, International Airlines Group tumbled 1.35 percent after its subsidiary British Airways suffered a data breach.

Ashmore Group climbed 1.39 percent as it reported a 26 percent increase in assets under management for the year.

Pub retailer and brewer Greene King soared 7.49 percent on reporting a jump in beer sales in the first quarter.

The euro area economy expanded as initially estimated in the second quarter, data from Eurostat showed Friday. Gross domestic product climbed 0.4 percent sequentially, the same rate as seen in the first quarter and in line with preliminary estimate.

Germany's industrial production declined unexpectedly in July, data from Destatis revealed Friday. Industrial production fell 1.1 percent month-on-month in July, in contrast to a 0.2 percent rise economists had forecast. Production decreased 0.7 percent in June.

Germany's exports declined for the first time in three months in July, while imports grew at a faster pace, Destatis reported Friday.

Exports fell unexpectedly 0.9 percent on month in July, reversing June's 0.1 percent rise. This was the first fall in three months. Shipments were expected to climb 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, monthly growth in imports accelerated to 2.8 percent from 1.3 percent in June. Economists had forecast a 0.1 percent rise in imports.

As a result, the trade surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted EUR 15.8 billion from EUR 19.3 billion in the previous month.

France's industrial production logged a steady growth in July, the statistical office Insee showed Friday. Industrial output grew 0.7 percent month-on-month in July, the same pace of expansion as seen in June. Output was forecast to gain at a much weaker rate of 0.2 percent.

France's visible trade deficit for July narrowed from a year ago, figures from the Customs Service showed Friday. The trade gap shrunk to EUR 3.49 billion from EUR 6.00 billion in the same month last year. Economists had forecast a shortfall of EUR 5.73 billion.

UK house prices rose at a marginal pace in August, data from the Lloyds bank subsidiary Halifax and IHS Markit showed Friday. House prices gained 0.1 percent month-on-month in August, slower than July's 1.2 percent increase.

After reporting weaker than expected job growth in the previous month, the Labor Department released a report on Friday showing employment in the U.S. jumped by more than expected in the month of August. The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 201,000 jobs in August after climbing by a downwardly revised 147,000 jobs in July.

Economists had expected employment to increase by about 191,000 jobs compared to the addition of 157,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the stronger than expected job growth during the month, the unemployment rate held at 3.9 percent in August compared to expectations for a drop to 3.8 percent.

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