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European Stocks Close Mixed on Profit Taking

European shares closed mixed Friday, as investors took profits after a broadly positive two weeks on the major indexes, but energy stocks rebounded from recent weakness.

The London FTSE 100 and Frankfurt DAX finished close to their starting levels, while the Paris CAC-40 was slightly lower.

The FTSE CNBC Global 300 was trading lower at the end of the European session.

Shares of Northern Rock ended the day 5.9% higher as Richard Branson's Virgin Groupunveiled plans to buy a controlling stake in the troubled mortgage lender and re-launch it under the Virgin brand.

In economic news, Bundesbank President Axel Weber said the European Central Bank may have to raise rates further if price rises spread beyond food and energy costs, risking to upset European politicians and business representatives who have been complaining the strong euro is hurting exports.