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European Shares Mixed As Trade Talks Get Underway

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European stocks were mixed in cautious trade on Thursday as investors awaited the resumption of U.S.-China trade talks and looked for fresh signals from the Federal Reserve about the chances of further rate cuts.

While prospects for progress in trade talks dimmed, media reports suggest that both sides are considering an "interim" deal that could see a tariff increase next week suspended.

In economic releases, the latest report from Germany showed exports fell by more than expected in August, reinforcing expectations that a manufacturing slump is pushing Europe's largest economy into recession.

France's industrial production declined unexpectedly in August on weak manufacturing and mining.

The British economy shrank by 0.1 percent in August, marking the first monthly contraction since April.

However, estimated GDP grew 0.3 percent in the last three months, helping ease fears of a Brexit-fueled recession in the immediate future.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was down 0.2 percent at 379.64 after rising 0.4 percent in the previous session.

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

Luxury goods makers rallied, with shares of LVMH surging 4.2 percent in Paris after the Louis Vuitton owner posted higher-than-expected third quarter sales, despite the negative impact of protests in Hong Kong. Gucci-owner Kering climbed 2.9 percent and Burberry advanced 1.6 percent.

Shares of PNE AG jumped 4 percent. The developer of wind farms is targeted by Photon Management GmbH for a takeover.

German sugar producer Suedzucker slumped 8 percent after its first-half operating result declined 46.6 percent to 74 million euros from last year's 139 million euros, driven by the sugar segment losses.

Shares of Avacta Group plunged 11 percent after the biotechnology company announced that it has entered into a collaboration and option agreement with ADC Therapeutics SA, a Swiss clinical-stage oncology-focused biotechnology company.

Packaging and paper group Mondi tumbled 3 percent after its third-quarter core earnings fell 18 percent from last year.

Investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown declined 1.8 percent after its new business was impacted by "weak investor sentiment."

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