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Europe ends mixed; Tullow Oil soars; Altice sinks

European stocks closed mixed to lower on Thursday, as start-of-quarter enthusiasm petered out among investors and telecom stocks weighed on investor sentiment.

The pan-European STOXX 600 dipped, closing around 0.4 percent down.

London's FTSE 100 index managed to eke out gains, finishing 0.2 percent up, while its counterparts, the French CAC and German DAX slipped into the red, closing around 0.7 percent and 1.6 percent lower respectively.

U.S. stocks traded mostly lower, as investors weighed declines in Apple and biotech stocks amid key domestic economic reports.

In Asia, activity in China's manufacturing sector contracted for a second straight month in September, an official purchasing manager's index (PMI) showed on Thursday, suggesting the need for further stimulus.

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Tullow Oil closed up 9.6 percent after the London-listed firm said that its credit facilities remain unchanged following an asset assessment. The company said that it demonstrates the continued support of its lending banks during this period of low oil prices.

The auto sector was again in focus on Thursday. Italy's Fiat Chrysler closed up 2.2 percent as reports of a planned public listing of Ferrari helped boost the stock. France's Renault also closed up 1.3 percent. Embattled Volkswagen finished down 1.3 percent.

German potash firm K+S rose, closing up 3.4 percent amid speculation that Canada's Potash Corp could sweeten its offer to buy the company.

However, Altice shares closed 9.3 percent lower, after the Dutch telecoms firm said it had launched a capital hike worth around 1.8 billion euros ($2.01 billion) to help finance its takeover of Cablevision.

Consequently, other telecoms were hit, including Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia, which both fell over 4 percent.

In data news, Spain's September manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to a 21-month low, coming in at 51.7 versus August's figure of 53.2.

Overall, euro zone manufacturing growth slipped last month. Markit's final PMI was 52.0 in September after coming in at 52.3 in August.