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European Markets End Lower On Growth Worries, Brexit Uncertainty

European markets ended lower on Friday, with investors largely staying wary of creating fresh positions ahead of a vote on the latest Brexit deal on Saturday.

Disappointing economic data from China and continued uncertainty about U.S.-China trade deal also forced investors to tread cautiously.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended down 0.32%. Germany's DAX edged down 0.17%, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 shed 0.44% and France's CAC 40 declined 0.65%, while Switzerland's SMI ended lower by 0.43%.

Among other markets in Europe, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain ended weak.

In Germany, Wirecard extended its slide to another session due to alleged irregularities in accounting practices. The stock ended almost 7% down.

Fresenius shed about 2.5%. Daimler, Bayer, Infineon, BMW and Deutsche Bank lost 0.6 to 1.4%, while Allianz and Muench.Rueckvers gained more than 1% each.

In the French market, Renault lost more than 11% after the automaker cut its operating margin and revenues outlook for fiscal year 2019, citing a less favorable economic environment and a regulatory context that requires ever-increasing costs.

Danone lost more than 8% and Thales ended 5% down. Kering, Peugeot and L'Oreal and Bouygues also ended notably lower.

Publicis Groupe, ArecelorMittal, Vivendi and Pernod Ricard ended on a firm note, gaining 0.8 to 2%.

In the U.K. market, Micro Focus and InterContinental shed more than 4%. Rolls-Royce Holdings, Hargreaves Lansdown, Burberry Group and Relx ended lower by 2 to 2.5%, while Intertek ended nearly 2% down.

RBS gained about 2.6%. ITV, Berkeley, Segro, NMC Health, DS Smith and Imperial Brands also ended on a bright note.

In economic releases, the euro area current account surplus increased in August reflecting higher primary income and trade in services, the European Central Bank reported today.

The current account surplus increased to EUR 27 billion from EUR 22 billion in July.

In Brexit news, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker reached a new Brexit deal on Thursday. However, the proposed deal is expected to face stiff opposition in parliament when it is put to vote in the House of Commons on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of Bank of England Dave Ramsen told Bloomberg News in an interview that the bank has room to hike interest rates in a limited and gradual manner if the UK moves out of the European Union smoothly.

"The kind of guidance we've been giving -- in the world of a deal it still applies," the banker said.

"We're not saying over what timeframe, but limited and gradual is a reasonable qualitative framing," said Ramsden.

In economic news from China, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics said China's GDP grew 6% year-on-year in the third quarter after rising 6.2% in the second quarter. This was the slowest growth since early 1990s.

Industrial production grew 5.8% annually in September, well above an expected climb of 4.9%. Annual growth in retail sales were up 7.8% in line with expectations.

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