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European Markets Drop On Widespread Weakness

The European markets ended Thursday's session with substantial losses. The large sell-off on Wall Street yesterday sparked weakness in the Asian markets, which then spilled over into Europe. Concerns over trade tensions between the U.S. and China continue to weigh on investor sentiment, as well as rising bond yields.

Traders are also concerned over the possibility of aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. U.S. President Trump offered his opinion on the Fed's policies, saying that the central bank was "going loco." He also stated that he is "not happy" after the Fed decided to raise rates for the third time this year.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index weakened by 1.98 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks decreased 1.77 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 2.35 percent.

The DAX of Germany dropped 1.48 percent and the CAC of France fell 1.92 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 1.94 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished lower by 2.85 percent.

In Frankfurt, Dialog Semiconductor soared 25.73 percent. The company has reached an agreement with Apple Inc. to license certain of its power management technologies, transfer certain of its assets and over 300 employees to Apple to support chip research and development.

Bayer rallied 3.89 percent after receiving a tentative ruling for a new trial on the $250 million in punitive damages in U.S. weed-killer case.

GEA Group, a technology provider for food processing industry, fell 3.28 percent despite reporting a 12 percent rise in preliminary operating EBITDA for the third quarter.

In Paris, Ingenico shares surged 7.85 percent after Natixis said it is exploring a merger of its payments business with the French financial and payments firm.

In London, Recruitment firm Hays Plc plunged 10.97 percent as its first-quarter gross profit missed analyst estimates, hurt by a relatively stronger pound against rivals.

Financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown sank 5.01 percent after it warned of an industry-wide slowdown.

Packaging and paper group Mondi slid 0.03 percent after it reported a 30 percent rise in Q3 underlying profit.

Digital security company Gemalto closed down by 0.36 percent in Amsterdam. The company, which is in deal to be bought by Thales, announced that the companies now expect to close the offer in the first quarter of 2019.

France's consumer price inflation eased in September, latest figures revealed on Thursday, confirming the initial estimates. The consumer price index rose 2.2 percent year-on-year following a 2.3 percent increase in August, the statistical office INSEE said.

A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday unexpectedly showed a modest increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended October 6th. The report said initial jobless claims rose to 214,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 207,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 206,000.

Consumer prices in the U.S. showed a slight uptick in the month of September, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The Labor Department said its consumer price index inched up by 0.1 percent in September after rising by 0.2 percent in August. Economists had expected prices to increase by another 0.2 percent.

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