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European shares flat amid trade woes; plastics packager RPC gains

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European shares flat amid trade woes; plastics packager RPC gains
FILE PHOTO: A trader sits in front of the computer screens at his desk at the Frankfurt stock exchange, Germany, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo   -   Copyright  Ralph Orlowski(Reuters)
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MILAN (Reuters) – European shares steadied early on Monday, weighed down by trade-exposed sectors like autos after U.S. President Donald Trump raised the stakes in the trade dispute with Beijing.

The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> index was flat by 0709 GMT after ending on Friday just above its lowest closing level since early April. The export-oriented DAX <.GDAXI> index was down 0.1 percent and the FTSE was trading flat.

Late on Friday, Trump warned he was ready to impose tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports, threatening duties on another $267 billion of goods on top of $200 billion worth set for levies in coming days.

Autos, which rely on exports, led the declines, falling 0.5 percent. Shares in Apple suppliers like Dialog Semiconductor <DLGS.DE> and AMS were under pressure after Trump said the iPhone maker should move production to the U.S. to avoid the tariffs.

Richemont <CFR.S> rose 1.9 percent after the Cartier maker appointed group veteran Jerome Lambert chief executive after it posted a 10 percent rise in five-month sales.

RPC Group <RPC.L> soared 24.7 percent after Europe’s biggest plastics packager said it was in early talks with funds about a takeover offer for the company. It was the biggest gainer on the STOXX.

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni, editing by Larry King)

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