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European stocks open lower, focus on EU talks; Dax down 0.06%

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Shutterstock photo - European stocks opened lower on Friday, as markets eyed a second day of talks between European Union officials over a possible bailout package for Cyprus.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 declined 0.30%, France's CAC 40 shed 0.32%, while Germany's DAX 30 eased 0.06%.

Markets were jittery, as EU and International Monetary Fund officials worked on a rescue package for Cyprus through the night in Brussels, with the aim of presenting the outline of a bailout programme to euro zone finance experts on Friday morning.

Cyprus originally estimated that it needed about EUR17 billion to restore its economy to health, with up to EUR10 billion to recapitalise its banks and EUR7 billion required for servicing debt and running general government operations.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, as shares in French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale added 0.14% and 0.33%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank advanced 0.47%.

Among peripheral lenders, Spanish bank BBVA rose 0.39% and 0.51%, while Italy's Unicredit climbed 0.63%.

On the downside, French mass media and telecom company Vivendi tumbled 3.18%, as it halted the planned sale of GVT after failing to get a satisfactory bid for the division, valued at EUR5.2 billion.

In London, FTSE 100 dipped 0.01%, weighed by losses in the financial sector.

Shares in Lloyds Banking dropped 0.41% and HSBC Holdings slid 0.68%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland retreated 0.87%. Barclays overperformed on the other hand, gaining 0.50%.

Meanwhile, mining stocks trended sharply higher, as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto advanced 0.43% and 0.86%, while Eurasian Natural Resources rallied 0.74%.

Copper producers Xstrata and Kazakhmys added to gains, with shares rising 0.39% and 0.75% respectively.

Elsewhere, ARM Holdings, whose chip designs power Apple's iPhone and iPad, gained 0.76% after Jefferies raised its recommendation on the stock to "buy" from "hold", saying the company remains well-positioned for the mid-to-long term.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.03% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.02% dip, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.03% rise.

Later in the day, the euro zone was to publish official data on consumer price inflation.

The U.S. was to produce official data on consumer inflation and preliminary data from the University of Michigan on consumer sentiment, followed by reports data on industrial production, and manufacturing activity in New York state. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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