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European shares flat as China data stokes slowdown worries

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By Reuters
European shares flat as China data stokes slowdown worries
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Staff   -   Copyright  STAFF(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – European stocks were flat on Monday as new data from China signalled a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, stoking fresh concerns about slowing global growth.

The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> index was trading flat at 0803 GMT, after closing more than 1% higher on Friday following a robust U.S. jobs report.

Investor sentiment was hit after data showed that China exports in November shrank for the fourth straight month, implying that the trade war with the United States was taking a toll on the world’s second-largest economy.

Both countries are negotiating a so-called “phase one” deal aimed at de-escalating the prolonged trade dispute, but it is unclear whether such an agreement can be reached in the near term.

Meanwhile, France’s CAC 40 <.FCHI> shed 0.1% as the country’s finance minister said they were ready to go to the World Trade Organization to challenge U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on champagne and other French goods in a row over a French tax on internet companies.

Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco <TSCO.L> jumped 4.1%, and was the top gainer in the benchmark index, after the company signalled a further retreat from its once-lofty global ambitions by starting a review of its remaining Asian businesses.

Tullow Oil Plc <TLW.L> hit a 15-year low after the oil and gas explorer said its Chief Executive Paul McDade resigned and it also scrapped its dividends, as it continues to face issues at its main producing assets in Ghana.

(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)