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European Stocks Post Biggest Weekly Decline Since February

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  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the Friday session up 0.3% with retail stocks leading the gains.
  • The German DAX closed up 0.17% after a bigger-than-expected jump in producer prices, which saw a 1.9% increase month-on-month in July.

LONDON — European stocks closed higher Friday, but sharply lower for the week, as traders monitored issues such as global monetary policy, the delta Covid variant and China's tech crackdown.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the Friday session up 0.3% with retail stocks leading the gains. The index finished down 1.5% for the week, in what was its worst weekly performance since February, according to Reuters data.

The German DAX closed up 0.17% on Friday after a bigger-than-expected jump in producer prices, which saw a 1.9% increase month-on-month in July.

In the U.S., Major U.S. stock averages rebounded Friday while markets remained on track for a losing week driven by fears of the Federal Reserve pulling back its stimulus. Minutes from the Fed's July meeting released this week showed the central bank is willing to start reducing its monthly asset purchases this year.

Stocks in Asia fell after China left its benchmark lending rate unchanged. In addition, the tougher scrutiny over technology continues in China with a new data protection law approved on Friday.

Corporate news

Looking at individual stocks, Marks & Spencer topped gains in early deals, up by 14%, after the retailer lifted its profit outlook.

Fellow supermarket Morrisons was also among the top performers, up by 4.5%, after announcing it had approved a takeover offer of £7 billion ($9.5 billion) from U.S.-based private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

U.K. retails sales disappoint

In other data news, British retail sales dropped in July by 2.5% from the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics. Economists argue that rainy weather and the global chip shortage had an impact on how British consumers behaved last month.

Sterling traded lower against the U.S. dollar at $1.36 following the data release.

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