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UK, German Stocks Rise as French Equities Fall

By Investors Hub

European stocks have turned mixed over the course of the session. While the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.1 percent, the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.5 percent.

Deutsche Post shares have fallen after the German mail and logistics group reported a lower net profit for the fourth quarter due to a higher tax rate.

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Publicis Groupe and WPP have also moved lower on reports that Procter & Gamble is accelerating its efforts to transform the business of marketing.

Meanwhile, paper packaging firm Smurfit Kappa has rallied after the company’s board reaffirmed its rejection of a takeover offer from U.S. rival International Paper.

Rolls Royce Holdings has also jumped after the plane engine maker reported a 2017 profit before tax of 4.9 billion pounds, a material increase over the 2016 loss of 4.6 billion pounds.

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On the economic front, France’s foreign trade gap widened notably at the start of the year, as exports fell and imports rose, data from the customs office showed.

The trade deficit widened to 5.6 billion euros in January from 3.4 billion euros in December. The expected shortfall was 4.45 billion euros.

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Separately, U.K. house prices grew at the slowest pace in five years in February, data from the Lloyds bank subsidiary Halifax and IHS Markit showed.

House prices increased 1.8 percent year-on-year in the three months to February, slower than the 2.2 percent rise registered in January. This was the weakest rate since March 2013.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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