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European Markets End Lower On Trade Concerns

European markets ended lower on Friday as renewed concerns about U.S.-China trade dispute and an imminent collapse of the Italian government hurt sentiment and prompted investors to exit counters.

A report from Bloomberg said President Donald Trump's administration is holding off on decisions about licenses for U.S. companies to restart business with Chinese tech giant Huawei.

According to the report, the Trump administration is delaying the decisions following China halting its purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

Meanwhile, in Italy, bond prices sank amid heightened political uncertainty after Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of the right-wing League Party called for fresh general elections, terming the current coalition arrangement "unworkable."

The pan European Stoxx 600 declined 0.84%. Among the major markets in Europe, Germany and France ended notably lower, with their key indices DAX and CAC 40 losing 1.28% and 1.11%, respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE shed 0.44%, while Switzerland's SMI ended flat.

Among other markets in Europe, Italy plunged sharply. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Norwary, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden also ended weak.

Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland, Turkey and Ukraine closed higher.

In Germany, only four stocks out of the 30-stock strong DAX ended on the positive side. Of these, Bayer moved up more than 2.5%, extending recent gains.

Thyssenkrupp declined nearly 7%. Continental, Deutsche Bank, Adidas, Dalmier, Deutsche Post, E.ON, BMW, SAP, Infineon, Covestro, Volkswagen and Wirecard lost 2 to 3.4%.

In the French market, ArcelorMittal ended more than 7% down. Capgemini, L'Oreal, Michelin, Societe Generale and Saint Gobain lost 2 to 2.5%.

Peugeot, Airbus Group, Credit Agricole, Renault and BNP Paribas also declined sharply.

In the British market, Antofagasta ended more than 4.5% down. NMC Health, EasyJet, ITV, Prudential, Rio Tinto, IAG, Coca Cola HBC, HSBC, Kingfisher, Glencore, BHP Group, Standard Life, Micro Focus and Barlays lost 1.5 to 3.4%.

On the other hand, WPP gained more than 7% on better-than-expected second-quarter results, and Hikma Pharma gained more than 6%.

Next, Segro, AstraZeneca and Intercontinental also ended on a firm note, albeit with less pronounced gains.

Italian stocks Banco Bpm, UBI Banca, Bper Banca tumbled 7 to 9%. UniCredit declined by about 5%.

Poste Italiane, Telecom Italia, Leonardo, FinecoBank and Italgas also declined sharply.

In economic releases, U.K. GDP fell 0.2% sequentially in the second quarter, reversing first quarter's 0.5% growth, according to the first estimate from the Office of National Statistics.

On an annual basis, the economy grew at a slower pace of 1.2% after rising 1.8% in the first quarter.

France's industrial production fell 2.3% month-on-month in June, in contrast to a 2% rise in May, statistical office Insee said. This was the biggest fall since January 2018 and was the first drop in three months.

German exports fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.1% month-on-month in June, reversing a 1.3% rise in May, data from Destatis revealed. The rate came in line with expectations.

Imports climbed 0.5%, as expected, but in contrast to May's 0.3% decline.

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