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Major European Markets Close Higher On Bargain Hunting

(RTTNews) - Despite lingering worries about global economic slowdown amid the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, the major European markets moved higher on Wednesday as investors did some bargain hunting after recent sharp losses.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended up 0.24%. Among the major indices, Germany's DAX advanced 0.71%, France's CAC 40 moved up 0.61% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.38%. Switzerland's SMI declined 0.21%.

Other markets in the region turned in a mixed performance. Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden closed higher.

Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine ended weak.

Bank stocks were mostly lower after results fell short of expectations and some lenders revised downwards the future earnings guidance.

Commerzbank shares tumbled more than 6% after the bank said it posted a net profit of 271 million euros in the second quarter, not much changed from the year-ago quarter.

In Italy, shares of Unicredit declined by about 5% after the bank reported a less than expected net profit of 1.85 billion euros for the second quarter.

British stock Just Eat rose sharply, with investors continuing to throng the counter. The food delivery service firm had recently signed an agreement with Takeaway.com as per which the latter will take over the company for a consideration of about $6 billion.

Pharma major Bayer moved up 6% after the company and Lanxess said they will sell their joint venture Currenta to the Australian firm Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets for an enterprise value of 3.5 billion euros.

Morphosys climbed up sharply after raising its full-year guidance.

Swiss stock IWG gained more than 6% after the company announced a share buyback scheme.

On the economic front, data released by Destatis showed Germany's industrial output fell by a larger than expected 1.5% in June 2019, over the previous month. Economists had forecast industrial production to fall 0.5% on month, reversing a 0.3% rise in May.

Year-on-year, industrial production declined at a faster pace of 5.2% after easing 4.4% a month ago. Economists had forecast 3.1% decrease.

According to preliminary data from the French Customs, France's merchandise trade deficit widened in June after narrowing in the previous two months, amid a slump in exports.

The trade deficit rose to EUR 5.18 billion in June, up from EUR 3.27 billion in May. Trade deficit was forecast to rise to EUR 4.11 billion.

Exports were down 4.9% year-on-year in June, after having risen 4.3% in May. Imports dropped by 0.6% in June.

In the U.K., house prices decreased for the second straight month in July, figures from the Lloyds Bank subsidiary Halifax and IHS Markit showed. The report said house prices fell unexpectedly by 0.2% month-on-month in July, after falling 0.4% in June. This was the second consecutive drop in prices. Economists had forecast a 0.3% rise.
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