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European Stocks Fail To Hold Early Gains, Close Mixed

European markets gave up early gains and ended mixed on Monday as investors refrained from making significant moves post noon.

After opening on a bright note Monday morning thanks to news about resumption of coronavirus vaccine trials by AstraZeneca, stocks pared gains and turned in a mixed performance as uncertainty about Brexit negotiations and surging new virus cases rendered the mood cautious.

The positive opening on Wall Street aided sentiment. Investors were also digesting a report from Eurostat that said Eurozone industrial production grew at a slightly faster than expected pace in July.

AstraZeneca, which halted trials of its coronavirus vaccine last week due to safety concerns following a patient's unexplained illness, announced over the weekend that it has got the nod from the U.K.'s Medicines Health Regulatory Authority to resume phase III clinical trials.

Reports that Pfizer will be ready with its coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. before the end of the year contributed as well to the positive start in European markets.

According to reports, several U.S. states saw a surge in coronavirus cases over the weekend. U.S. infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci termed the data "disturbing."

The pan European Stoxx 600 advanced 0.15%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged down 0.10%, Germany's DAX slid 0.07% and France's CAC 40 moved up 0.35%, while Switzerland's SMI ended 0.17% up.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Greece, Ireland, Russia and Turkey closed higher.

Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden ended marginally up, while Finland, Iceland, Norway, Poland and Portugal drifted lower.

In the U.K. market, the mood turned quite cautious during the latter part of the session as investors looked ahead to a Brexit vote on controversial Internal Market Bill. The Bill, if passed, will break international law as it would result in the breach of parts of the Withdrawal Agreement signed earlier this year.

Royal Mail, Fresnillo, Polymetal International, Persimmon, BP, Antofagasta, M&T and Royal Dutch Shell lost 1.6 to 4.7%. AstraZeneca shared declined by about 0.4%.

Among the gainers in the FTSE 100 index, IAG climbed nearly 5%. Meggitt, Ocado Group and Compass Group gained 3 to 3.7%, while BAE Systems, Land Securities, Informa, Lloyds Banking Group and EasyJet gained 1.8 to 2.8%.

In corporate news, U.S. firm Nvidia announced that it will buy the UK-based computer chip designer ARM Holdings from Softbank for $40 billion.

In Germany, Infineon Technologies surged up 2.8%. Continental, Lufthansa and Covestro gained 1.5 to 2.1%, while Deutsche Bank and Merck both ended higher by about 1%.

Wirecard tumbled 3.1%. RWE, Vonovia, Volkswagen, Daimler and Munich also ended weak, albeit with less pronounced losses.

In the French market, Valeo gained about 5%. Airbus, STMicroElectronics, Sodexo, Societe Generale and Unibail Rodamco moved up 2.5 to 4%. Capgemini, Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Saint Gobain also ended notably higher.

In economic news, Eurozone industrial production grew at a slightly faster than expected pace in July, as the economy attempts to sustain its recovery from the slump caused by the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic.

Industrial production rose 4.1% from June, when it grew 9.5%, which was revised from 9.1% reported initially, preliminary data from Eurostat showed on Monday. Production gained for a third straight month. Economists had forecast a 4% increase.

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