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European stocks steady to lower with eyes on ECB meeting; DAX down 0.08% - - European stocks were steady to lower on Wednesday, after downbeat industrial production data from Germany and as investors remained cautious ahead of the European Central Bank's policy meeting scheduled on Thursday.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 inched up 0.03%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.10%, while Germany's DAX 30 eased 0.08%.

Data earlier showed that German industrial production declined by 1.5% in July, compared to expectations for an uptick 0.2% rise. Industrial production increased by 1.1% in June, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 0.8% gain.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) dropped 0.42% and 0.61%, while Germany's Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) and Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) tumbled 1.06% and 2.02%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) and Unicredit (MI:CRDI) lost 0.30% and 1.91% respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) fell 0.12% and 0.36%.

Bayer AG (DE:BAYGN) added to losses, with shares declining 0.30% following reports U.S. seed producer Monsanto (NYSE:MON) shareholders increased pressure on the German company to raise its takeover offer.

However, some of Bayer's investors have warned that the current offer is already too high.

In London, FTSE 100 dipped 0.05%, weighed by Worldpay Group PLC (LON:WPG), whose shares plunged 4.28%, after private equity firms Advent International Corp. and Bain Capital LLC raised nearly £1 billion from the sale of shares in the payments processor.

U.K. lenders were also on the downside, as HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) inched down 0.05% and Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) declined 0.84%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) dropped 0.87% and Barclays (LON:BARC) tumbled 1.78%.

Meanwhile, Ashtead Group (LON:AHT) was one of the top performes on the index, with shares surging 5.33% after the equipment-rental company upgraded its fiscal 2017 expectations and said first-quarter pretax profit rose 4%.

Mining stocks added to gains, as Glencore (LON:GLEN) rose 0.25% and Fresnillo (LON:FRES) jumped 1.89%, while Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) rallied 2.30%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.01% dip, S&P 500 futures showed a 0.02% downtick, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.07% gain. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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.

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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