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Market Update

European Stocks Seek Direction in Early Action

European stocks were trading mixed early Wednesday as investors sought direction after yesterday's sharp gains on heels of encouraging Chinese data and receding threat of a military offensive against Syria.

The FTSE 100 was flat at 8:08 a.m. London time, the CAC 40 Paris lost 0.3% while the DAX Frankfurt edged up 0.1%.

Earlier, Asian markets also halted their rally with most of the indexes moving off early highs.

Looking at the Middle East conflict, Syria yesterday accepted Russia's proposal to give up chemical weapons, while President Obama vowed to pursue a diplomatic solution for the standoff, which eased some concerns about geo-political tensions.

In economic reports, data released today showed French non-farm payrolls declined to a seasonally adjusted -0.2% in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile in Germany,  official statistics showed inflation in the country slowed sharply in August as energy prices eased.

Stocks on the Move

Financials were mostly lower across the region. BNP Paribas SA slipped 0.4% while Soceite Generale SA retreated 0.5% in France.

London-listed Lloyds Banking Group Plc. fell over 1% while HSBC Holdings plc. lost 0.8%.

But German bankers Deutsche Bank AG gained 0.5% while Commerzbank AG tacked on a percent.

Among miners, BHP Billiton Plc. lost 0.4% and Rio Tinto Plc. erased 0.3%. Glencore Xstarata Plc. added 0.5%

On the earnings front, Europe's largest home-improvement retailer Kingfisher posted lower first-half profit in line with expectations. The London-listed company lost 2%.