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European Shares Subdued In Cautious Trade


European stocks were flat to slightly lower on Monday, as optimism over a U.S.-China trade deal quickly faded and caution set in ahead of the U.S. congressional elections due on Tuesday.

The dollar held steady after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow downplayed the potential for a quick trade deal between the U.S. and China.

Tuesday's midterm elections would give Democrats a chance to more effectively oppose Republican President Donald Trump's agenda.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged on Thursday, although the accompanying statement may provide clues about the anticipated rate hike next month.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.2 percent at 363.40 in opening deals after rising 0.3 percent on Friday.

The German DAX and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 were down about 0.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 index was little changed, giving up early gains.

The British pound firmed up after reports that Prime Minister Theresa May has secured a secret Brexit deal to keep the U.K. in the customs union.

Heineken N.V. edged up slightly after it signed a definitive agreement with China Resources Enterprise and China Resources Beer (Holdings) Co. to create a long-term strategic partnership for Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Swiss drug major Novartis rose half a percent after issuing a Research & Development update, highlighting its development pipeline including potential blockbusters and advanced therapy platforms.

STMicroelectronics NV declined 0.7 percent. The semiconductor company has launched a share buy-back program of up to $750 million to be executed within a 3-year period.

British software product group Micro Focus International advanced 1.7 percent. The company said that it's trading for the twelve months ended October 31 has continued in line with the Board's expectations with an improved revenue trajectory in the second half of the year.

Societe Generale shares were up slightly. The French bank has entered into an agreement to sell Euro Bank, its retail banking subsidiary in Poland, to Bank Millennium.

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