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European Shares Slide On Trade, Growth Worries

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European shares pulled back from three-week highs on Wednesday as trade worries and concerns about slowing growth returned to haunt investors.

Trade tensions intensified after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he was holding up a trade deal with China and had no interest in moving ahead unless Beijing agrees to four or five "major points" which he did not specify.

Elsewhere, a measure of China's factory gate inflation slowed in May on weak commodity demand, reinforcing worries about cooling growth in the world's second largest economy.

Investors were also reacting to Trump's comments that U.S. interest rates
were "way too high". Trump said that the U.S. has low inflation and the officials of the Federal Reserve "don't have a clue" on rates.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was down 0.4 percent at 379.20 after rising 0.7 percent in the previous session.

The German DAX, France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 were down between 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent.

Banks were moving lower as the European Union moves closer to taking disciplinary action over Italy's growing debt.

Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale dropped 1-2 percent.

British American Tobacco slumped 4.7 percent. In a first-half trading update, the tobacco firm said it expects global industry volumes to decline 3.5 percent.

Saga Plc., a specialist in products and services for life after 50, tumbled 3.3 percent after the company said the process to hire a replacement for Group Chief Executive Officer Lance Batchelor has started.

Spanish retail giant Inditex Group gained 1 percent after reporting higher earnings and sales in the first quarter of 2019, driven by the ongoing digital transformation of its integrated store and online sales platform.

Software company Dassault Systèmes dropped 1.1 percent in Paris. The company has signed an agreement to acquire Medidata Solutions, Inc. (MDSO) in an all-cash transaction at a price of $ 92.25 per share.

German digital publishing house Axel Springer soared 12 percent. The company has announced a public takeover offer from Global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts at an offer price of 63 euros per share in cash.

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