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European stocks mostly lower on German, French GDPs; Dax down 0.18%

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Shutterstock photo - - European stocks were mostly lower on Thursday, as downbeat economic growth readings from Germany and France weighed on market sentiment.

During European morning trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 declined 0.44%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.25%, while Germany's DAX slipped 0.18%.

Data showed that Germany's gross domestic product shrank by 0.2% in the three month to June, the first drop since 2012. Economists had forecasts a contraction of 0.1%. First quarter growth was also revised down to 0.7% from 0.8% previously.

Earlier Thursday official data showed that French GDP was flat in the second quarter, the second consecutive quarter of stagnation. Economists had expected an expansion of 0.1%.

The weaker than expected data added to concerns that the economic recovery in the euro area is losing momentum, adding to pressure on the European Central Bank to do more to bolster growth after it cut rates to record lows in June.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) declined 0.74% and 0.44%, while Germany's Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) fell 0.28%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) and Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) tumbled 0.98% and 1.01% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) and BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) dropped 0.55% and 0.99%.

Elsewhere, RWE (XETRA:RWEG) plunged 3.44% after Germany's biggest producer of electricity turned to a loss in the second quarter. The company said that sales fell 16% to €10.4 billion.

In London, FTSE 100 added 0.17%, supported by British Land (LONDON:BLND), up 1.66%, after the stock was upgraded by Liberum Capital from "hold" to "buy".

Financial stocks were also mostly higher, as Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) rose 0.31% and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) gained 0.41%, while Barclays (LONDON:BARC) and HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) advanced 0.60% and 0.70% respectively.

Meanwhile, mining stocks were trending broadly lower. Shares in Fresnillo (LONDON:FRES) declined 0.68% and Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) dropped 0.89%, while rivals Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) and Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) plummeted 1.50% and 1.71%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow 30futures pointed to a 0.01% dip, S&P 500futures signaled a 0.01% gain, while the Nasdaq 100futures indicated an uptick of 0.01%.

Later in the day, the euro zone was to publish preliminary GDP data, while the U.S. was to release the weekly report on initial jobless claims. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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