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European Stocks Eke Out Small Gains After Choppy Session

European stocks ended slightly higher on Friday after a choppy ride, as rising tensions between the U.S. and China, the impasse over coronavirus relief package talks in the U.S., and lingering worries about global economic growth rendered the mood cautious.

Stronger-than-expected jobs report from the U.S. and some fairly encouraging corporate earnings reports pushed up stock prices a bit.

The pan European Stoxx 600 moved up 0.29%. Germany's DAX advanced 0.66%, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 both edged up by 0.09%, while Switzerland's SMI ended with a slender gain of 0.01%.

Among other markets in Europe, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands and Turkey closed higher.

Greece, Iceland, Portugal, Russia and Ukraine settled lower, while Austria, Czech Republic, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden ended flat.

In the U.K. market, Hikma Pharmaceutical soared more than 11% and Rightmove surged up 9.5%. Smith & Nephew, Aveva Group, Berkeley Group, Melrose, Intertek Group, The Sage Group, Informa, Ocado Group and Hargreaves Lansdown gained 1.8 to 3.2%.

Glencore, Pearson, Centrica, Coca-Cola, BP, EasyJet, Fresnillo, Anglo American, Royal Dutch Shell and Barclays lost 1.8 to 3.2%.

In Germany, Deutsche Telekom gained more than 2.5%. Infienon Technologies, HeidelbergCement, Adidas and Siemens gained 1.7 to 2%.

Continental, Henkel, Lufthansa and Wirecard declined 1.5 to 2%.

In the French market, Airbus Group, Renault, Schneider Electric, Dassault Systemes and Sanofi gained 1 to 1.5%, while Technip and ArcelorMittal declined 3% and 2.7%, respectively.

In economic news, data from Destatis showed German exports and imports grew at faster rates in June. Exports advanced 14.9% sequentially, following May's 8.9% increase, while imports were up 7%, compared to a 3.6% increase a month earlier.

Germany's industrial production grew at a faster pace in June, another report revealed. Industrial production advanced 8.9% month-on-month in June, faster than the 7.4% increase seen in May. Economists had forecast a monthly growth of 8.1%.

France's foreign trade activity continued to recover in June after the Covid-19 pandemic with the trade deficit widening to set a monthly record as imports exceeded exports, the French Customs said.

The trade deficit increased to EUR 7.955 billion from EUR 5.588 billion in the same month last year. In May, the shortfall was EUR 7.458 billion.

Imports returned to 85% and exports to 75% of their average level for 2019, the agency said.

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