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European Stocks Exhibiting Mixed Trend In Cautious Trade

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European stocks are turning in a mixed performance Friday afternoon as investors make cautious moves, closing following news about Brexit negotiations, economic data and updates on coronavirus cases, and reacting to corporate news.

On the Brexit front, the British government has reportedly opted to insist on a controversial bill that could undermine a Brexit divorce deal its signed last year, despite an ultimatum and the threat of legal action from the European Union. The EU has urged the UK to drop plans to override the Withdrawal Agreement "by the end of the month" or risk jeopardising trade talks.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing severe opposition from several Conservative MPs over his plan to tear up key parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

The pan European Stoxx 600 is flat at 367.53. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 is up 10.35 points or 0.17% at 6,013.67. Germany's DAX is down 15.27 points or 0.12% at 13,193.62. France's CAC 40 is up marginally at 5,024.73, while Switzerland's SMI is rising about 50 points or 0.5% at 10,436.94.

In the U.K. market, Royal Mail is surging up nearly 5%. Burberry Group is gaining 4%, while ITV, Glencore and Anglo American are up 2.2 to 2.5%.

Associated British Foods, Rio Tinto, Intertek Group, Flutter Entertainment, 3i Group and British American Tobacco are gaining 1 to 1.7%.

On the other hand, Meggitt, IAG, EasyJet and Morrison Supermarkets are down 2 to 3%. Standard Chartered, Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group are also notably lower.

In Germany, Wirecard shares are up 3.5%. Bayer, Merck, Adidas, Fresenius Medical Care and Infineon Technologies are also trading higher.

Continental is declining 2.8%. Lufthansa and Thyssenkrupp are both lower by nearly 2%, and Deutsche Bank is declining 1.3%, while Volkswagen is down nearly 1%.

In the French market, LVMH is rising nearly 2.5%. STMicroElectronics is gaining 1.75%, while Kering and Hermes International are up 1.3% and 1.1%, respectively.

Accor, Technip, Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, ArcelorMittal, Renault, Airbus and Sodexo are down with sharp to moderate losses.

In economic news, data published by the Office for National Statistics showed the UK economy expanded for the third straight month in July as lockdown measures continued to ease. GDP expanded 6.6% in July from June, when it gained 8.7%, the data said. Economists expected GDP to climb 6.7%. In three months to July, GDP fell 7.6% from the previous three months.

Likewise, industrial output rose 5.2%, slower than the 9.3% increase seen in the previous month. Manufacturing output advanced 6.3%.

Another report from the ONS showed that the visible trade deficit widened to GBP 8.63 billion in July from GBP 6.55 billion in June. Exports fell 0.9 percent on month, while imports grew 5.8 percent in July. The total trade surplus fell to GBP 1.07 billion from GBP 3.9 billion a month ago.

Germany's consumer prices were unchanged in August after a 0.1% fall in July, data from Destatis showed.. Compared to the previous month, the index decreased 0.1%.

The harmonized index of consumer prices, or HICP, dropped 0.1% year-on-year after remaining unchanged in July. The index fell for the first time since May 2016.

Britons' inflation expectations for the coming year slowed marginally in August, the quarterly Bank of England/Kantar Inflation Attitudes Survey showed on Friday.

The rate of inflation for the coming year is seen at 2.8% compared to 2.9% estimated in May. Meanwhile, expected inflation for the twelve months after that rose to 2.2% from 1.9%. Median expectations for inflation in the longer-term, say in five years' time increased to 2.8% from 2.6%.

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