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CAC 40 Subdued After US Decision To Blacklist Huawei

French stocks fell in cautious trade on Thursday after the United States hit Huawei with severe sanctions, adding to prevailing uncertainty over trade.

The benchmark CAC 40 was down 6 points or 0.12 percent at 5,367 after gaining 0.6 percent on Wednesday.

Automakers drifted lower after rising the previous day on news that U.S. President Donald Trump was planning to delay the imposition of tariffs on imported cars and parts.

Renault fell 1.2 percent and Peugeot declined 1.5 percent.

Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH war marginally lower, Kering was little changed and Hermes International dropped 1 percent after British rival Burberry reported lackluster full-year profit and revenue.

In economic releases, France's unemployment rate declined in the first quarter to the lowest since 2009, figures from the statistical office Insee showed.

The average ILO jobless rate fell to 8.7 percent from 8.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. This was the lowest level since 2009.

The euro area trade surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted EUR 17.9 billion in March from EUR 20.6 billion in February, Eurostat data showed. The surplus was below the forecast of EUR 19.4 billion.

Exports grew only 0.9 percent in March, while imports logged a bigger growth of 2.5 percent.

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