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European Shares Advance On Reassuring Data

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European stocks were moving higher on Friday as reassuring export data out of China as well as encouraging Eurozone industrial production data helped investors shrug off concerns surrounding the U.S.-China trade war.

China's exports fell 1.3 percent on a yearly basis in June, slightly slower than the 1.4 percent drop economists had forecast. At the same time, imports slid 7.3 percent annually versus the expected fall of 4.6 percent in June.

Closer home, Eurozone industrial production rebounded at a faster than expected pace in May, largely driven by consumer goods output, figures from Eurostat revealed.

Industrial output grew 0.9 percent month-on-month in May after declining 0.4 percent in April. This was the first increase in four months. Production was forecast to grow 0.2 percent.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was up 0.2 percent at 387.32 after closing 0.1 percent lower in the previous session.

The German DAX was little changed while France's CAC 40 index was rising half a percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.3 percent.

Daimler fell over 1 percent as the maker of Mercedes-Benz slashed its 2019 profit forecast for the second time in a few weeks. Volkswagen, Renault and Peugeot were up 1-2 percent.

Banks rose broadly amid bets the U.S. Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates at a policy meeting later this month.

Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale were up between 1.3 percent and 2.2 percent.

British advertising giant WPP gained 0.7 percent after it agreed to sell 60 percent of Kantar, its global data, research, consulting and analytics business, to Bain Capital.

Thomas Cook shares plunged 49 percent on news the troubled travel firm is in
£750m rescue talks with banks and its largest shareholder, Fosun Tourism.

AstraZeneca shed 0.8 percent and GlaxoSmithKline eased 0.3 percent after the White House scrapped a key plan to lower prescription medicine prices.

Hiscox tumbled 4.8 percent. The specialist insurer said catastrophes helped to deteriorate the global insurance market.

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