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European Stocks Stumble Following Dutch Election, French Manufacturing Data

Stocks in Europe largely slowed down from their gains in the previous session as investors weighed up the latest manufacturing data from France and a surprise election victory for right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders in the Dutch elections.

The Stoxx Europe 600 edged higher by 0.2%, while across the pond, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 remained relatively unchanged. Contracts listed on the Nasdaq 100 edged just 0.1% higher.

France released its latest manufacturing purchasing managers’ index on Thursday, which showed that Europe’s second-biggest economy declined in November, thereby hurting investors’ confidence about Europe’s economic prosperity. This, together with Wilders’ unexpected election victory, saw a Bloomberg gauge of mid and large-cap Dutch stocks fall, with ING Groep NV slumping by as much as 3% while ASML Holding NV fell by 2.8%.

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