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European Shares Turn in Lacklustre Performance

By Investors Hub

European stocks are turning in a lackluster performance on Thursday as investors digest a slew of earnings reports and ponder the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s September meeting.

The dollar has hit a one-week high and the British pound held stable after reports suggested that Prime Minister Theresa May was open to discussing a longer transition period within the EU.

On a light day on the economic front, data from the Office for National Statistics showed U.K. retail sales dropped more than expected on lower food store sales in September.

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Retail sales including auto fuel fell 0.8 percent month-on-month in September, due mainly to a 1.5 percent slump in sales by food stores. Economists had forecast sales to decrease 0.4 percent after rising 0.4 percent in August.

On a yearly basis, overall retail sales volume growth slowed to 3 percent in September from 3.4 percent in August.

While the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.4 percent, the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are both lingering near the unchanged line.

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Consumer goods giant Unilever has moved lower in Amsterdam after its third quarter turnover declined 4.8 percent from last year, hit by adverse currency effects.

HeidelbergCement has also plunged in Frankfurt after cutting its full-year outlook. Software giant SAP has also declined despite the company raising its guidance for revenues and profits this year.

On the other hand, shares of Ericsson have jumped after the telecom equipment giant reported net income for the third-quarter of 2.7 billion Swedish kronor compared to a loss of 3.5 billion kronor last year.

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Novartis has also advanced after the pharmaceutical firm announced an agreement and plan of merger with Endocyte, a U.S.-based biopharmaceutical company.

Domino’s Pizza Group has soared in London as the pizza chain announced a new 25 million pounds share buyback plan.

Carrefour shares have also jumped after the supermarket reported 2.7 percent growth in sales for the three months ended September 30th, after stripping out currency effects.

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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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