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European shares fluctuate; profits, China's growth in focus

European shares struggled for direction on Friday, rebounding from the previous session’s steep decline thanks to a rise in crude prices, while disappointing reports from Michelin and Bouygues fueled investors’ fears about auto and construction sectors.

Photo: Reuters

The pan-European STOXX 600 was flat at 361.93 at the opening bell.

Italy's FTSE MIB index slumped 0.6 percent to 18.981, while France's CAC 40 index was steady at 5,119.77. The UK's FTSE 100 index ticked up 0.2 percent to 7,043.90.

Italian markets were under pressure amid ongoing row between the European Commission and Italian government over latter's budget plans which represented an “unprecedented” violation of EU fiscal rules.

Shares of tire producer Michelin dropped 5.6 percent after it downgraded its sales and tire market growth predictions due to weaker Chinese car demand.

France-based conglomerate Bouygues tumbled 6.5 percent, leading the decline among the CAC 40 companies, after it downgraded its profit outlook.

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