European shares slip as Brexit, U.S.-China trade worries simmer

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, December 16, 2020. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

(Reuters) – European shares inched lower on Friday as doubts over a post-Brexit trade deal and fresh U.S.-China tensions capped gains at the end of a solid week.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.2% by 0808 GMT, easing from a near 10-month high hit in the previous session, while the German DAX and France’s CAC 40 also lost about 0.2% each.

Losses in UK’s exporter-heavy index were limited by a slide in the pound after Britain and European Union negotiators warned that they remained far apart on a number of issues and that it was becoming more likely they would fail to reach an agreement. [.L]

Travel & leisure stocks were the biggest decliners in early European trading, with British Airways-owner IAG slipping 1.0% after a media report that it had agreed to buy Spanish carrier Air Europa for 500 million euros ($612.55 million).

Dutch health technology firm Philips rose 1.3% after it agreed to buy U.S. cardiac diagnostics and monitoring firm BioTelemetry in a deal worth $2.8 billion.

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