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Europe shares close down as autos drag

European shares closed lower on Friday, ending the week with a slight loss, after a choppy trading session which saw Rolls Royce and Daimler drag European bourses lower following analyst downgrades.

The FTSEurofirst 300 Index provisionally closed down 0.3 percent at 1,205.70 points, with shares of Daimler dropping roughly 2.5 percent and Rolls Royce closing around 3.2 percent.

German car maker Daimler said that it would take legal action against France for blocking the registration of certain new Mercedes-Benz cars equipped with a refrigerant being phased out by the European Union.

The DAX was the biggest drag, closing down approximately 0.6 percent, with Deutsche Boerse finishing roughly 3.7 percent down after its second-quarter earnings missed the consensus forecast.

Shares of French car maker Renault closed down around 0.9 percent despite posting unexpected profit growth on labor cost cuts.

However, the CAC 40 and the IBEX bucked the European downward trend, both provisionally closing up by roughly 0.5 and 1 percent respectively.

The CAC was helped by shares in luxury brands LVMH and Kering, after the groups enjoyed a rebound in the second quarter, with LVMH witnessing a doubling of growth in fashion and leather sales from the first quarter. LVMH closed provisionally up 3.57 percent.

In the U.K., publisher Pearson posted a first-half profit decline that was in-line with expectations. The company said that its prized asset the Financial Times was not for sale; shares were higher by roughly 6 percent.

Across the Atlantic, U.S. stocks also traded lower, with major averages poised to log their first weekly decline in five weeks, as investors largely shrugged off a better-than-expected consumer sentiment report.

(Read More: Anglo American CEO: Major opportunity to cut costs)

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
FTSE
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DAX
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CAC 40
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IBEX 35
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In Asia, Japan's benchmark index tumbled to its lowest level in nearly three weeks on Friday as the yen rose against the dollar. Other Asian stock markets traded cautiously with attention on the region's corporate earnings results.

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