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European shares are little changed; fails to convincingly track US gains

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European shares are little changed around midday Wednesday, after giving up earlier minor gains following the strong US session. Investor sentiment appears steady as trade tensions seem to ease amid NAFTA trade discussion.

By midday, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.02% lower, while the EUROSTOXX 50 was also little changed, 0.10% in the red. The German DAX edged 0.06% into negative territory, the French CAC was up just 0.02% and the Spanish IBEX lost 0.69%.

NAFTA trade discussions

After Mexico and the US agreed to discuss overhauling the free trade agreement between the two countries, news has emerged that Canada has now re-joined the discussions too.

The move came after Canada’s leading trade negotiator said praised the deal achieved between the us and Mexico. The 24-year old free trade agreement is expected to be re-written by the end of this week and Canada’s foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said she anticipates “productive” talks.

This development has helped support marginally more upbeat investor sentiment, although risk appetite has edged back a little from Tuesday’s levels.

Stock movers

While investors assess the trade situation, there were also some stock movers of note, Wednesday.

Among them were RTL shares, which rose following the release of upbeat first half earnings for the media group. RTL said H1 group revenue climbed 2.3%, while EBITDA gained 1.9%, during the period compared with a year earlier.

The German media group added that it was no longer pursuing the purchase of Endemol Shine, preferring to expand its own shows and video on-demand platforms. RTL shares rose 3.78% to €64.55.

Inditex shares, meanwhile, were in negative territory, after owner of high street fast fashion brand, Zara, received a downgrade. Morgan Stanley cut its stock rating of Inditex to ‘Underweight’ for the first time, stating that its investment position had weakened. It also lowered its price target to €21 from €26.

Inditex shares fell 5.76% to €26.66.

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