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European Markets Close Lower On Trade Deal Uncertainty

European markets ended lower on Friday amid renewed uncertainty about a potential U.S.-China trade deal after U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that he has not agreed to lift the tariffs on Chinese goods.

Earlier, a report from Reuters said the idea of rolling back tariffs faces fierce internal opposition from Trump's advisers. The report said that sources familiar with the talks told Reuters the idea of a tariff rollback was not part of the original October "handshake" deal between Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

The latest reports have sparked renewed uncertainty about what type of trade deal Trump will ultimately be willing to accept.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended down 0.28%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.63%, Germany's DAX ended lower by 0.46% and France's CAC 40 edged down 0.02%, while Switzerland's SMI closed 0.17% down.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain and Turkey ended weak.

Denmark, Portugal and Sweden declined, while Belgium, Italy and Netherlands ended flat.

In the British market, Ocado declined more than 7%. NMC Health, Burberry Group, Rio Tinto, Marks & Spencer, Smurfit Kappa, EasyJet, Intertek, Prudential, J Sainsbury, Hikma Pharma and Barclays shed 2 to 4%.

On the other hand, Centrica, DCC and Hiscox ended stronger by 1.5 to 2.3%.

In Germany, Wirecard shares declined more than 3%. Allianz shed about 2.7% after posting muted growth in the third-quarter profit.

Infineon, Deutsche Bank, Henkel, Volkswagen and Bayer ended lower by 1.3 to 2.5%, while Merck, RWE, Linde, Lufthansa, BMW and MTU Aero closed higher by 0.7 to 1.5%.

In the French market, Credit Agricole declined 2.3% despite the company reporting better-than-expected third quarter net profit.

Sodexo, Renault, Technip, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale shed 1 to 1.5%.

On the other hand, Atos, Pernod Ricard, AXA and Legrand gained 1 to 2.3%.

Elsewhere, shares of Swiss luxury goods group Richemont plunged nearly 6% after the company said its sales growth slowed in the first half.

In economic news, Germany's exports rebounded at a faster-than-expected pace in September, despite signs of mild recession, data from Destatis revealed.

Exports grew 1.5% month-on-month, in contrast to August's 0.9% fall. Shipments were forecast to grow only 0.3%.

Imports growth accelerated to 1.3% from 0.1% a month ago, while economists had forecast stagnation.

France's non-farm payroll employment grew at a faster rate in the third quarter, flash estimates from the statistical office INSEE showed. Private payroll employment grew 0.3% quarter-on-quarter after a 0.2% increase in the second quarter.

Year-on-year, payroll employment rose by 1.4% or by 263,200 jobs in the third quarter.

France's merchandise trade deficit widened in September and the third quarter, to EUR 5.6 billion and EUR 16 billion, from EUR 5.4 billion and 14.5 billion, respectively.

U.K. hiring activity remained subdued in October, dampened by political and economic uncertainty, the Report on Jobs from IHS Markit showed.

According to Recruitment & Employment Confederation/KPMG report, permanent job placements declined at a solid pace in October, as employers preferred to wait until there was greater clarity over the outlook on Brexit. At the same time, temp billings growth weakened to only a marginal pace.

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