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Feb 14, 2019

Trump will sign spending bill and declare national emergency



Donald Trump
Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images
national emergency
The move will avert a government shutdown Friday, while immediately fueling a fierce battle in the courts.
Update, 4:27 p.m.: The Senate passed a bipartisan spending measure to avert another government shutdown on an 83-16 vote.
The Senate took action after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that President Donald Trump would sign the bill and also declare a national emergency to fund his border wall.
Story Continued Below
The House is expected to vote on the measure later tonight.
Original story:
President Donald Trump plans to sign a bipartisan spending deal and then declare a national emergency to fund his border wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday.
The move will avert a government shutdown Friday, while immediately fueling a fierce battle in the courts — a fight that Democrats in Congress say they’re eager to take on.
“He is prepared to sign the bill,” McConnell said on the Senate floor, ending days of uncertainty about whether Trump would back the massive funding compromise. “He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time.”
The White House quickly confirmed the move. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Trump will “take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border.”
Trump has threatened for months to declare a national emergency as a way to circumvent Congress to secure money for his signature campaign promise, a border wall that Democrats detest.
But the sudden move on Thursday — which caught most on Capitol Hill by surprise — will create a test of loyalty for Republicans.
GOP lawmakers have been privately and publicly urging Trump to avoid such a step, fearful that the expansion in powers could propel a future Democratic president to take the same step on climate change or gun violence.
McConnell announced on the floor that he would support Trump’s decision, though he had previously voiced skepticism of such a drastic move.
Democratic leaders also appeared caught off guard by the decision, though several Democratic-led House committees had already been working on potential legal efforts to challenge Trump's long-rumored plans for executive action.
"There is word the president will declare a national emergency. I hope he won’t. That would be a very wrong thing to do,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the floor, apparently unaware of the president’s position. “Leader Pelosi and I will be responding to that in short order.”
Some key Trump allies, notably Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), have vocally called on Trump to take executive action after the last shutdown, in which Trump conceded to Democrats after a 35-day fight over the border barrier money.
“I’m all for the president doing an emergency declaration,” Rep. Jim Jordan, another close Trump confidante, said in an interview Wednesday as negotiators were closing in on a deal.
Trump's decision to sign the funding compromise does relieve many lawmakers' concerns about another shutdown come Friday.
Both chambers planned to vote later Thursday on a giant funding deal that delivers a total of $1.3 billion in border wall money, with additional cash for security efforts like technology and law enforcement officials.
The measure is expected to easily clear both chambers, though Senate GOP leaders had waited to hear from Trump before they put the bill on the floor.
The $328 billion package — which funds one-quarter of the government — is the result of roughly two weeks of frenetic talks between Democratic and Republican negotiators from both chambers.
The bill includes $1.37 billion for 55 miles of physical barrier along the southern border in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas — far less than the $5.7 billion that the White House had sought.
Republicans had claimed victory, saying that the deal includes “unprecedented investments” in physical barriers, law enforcement, counter-narcotics and humanitarian aid along the border.
They also touted “record” detention capacity for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement — an agency that some progressive Democrats have sought to defund altogether.

The House will take up the measure Thursday night. Votes will take place sometime after 6:30 p.m. so that lawmakers can attend the funerals of the late Reps. John Dingell of Michigan and Walter Jones of North Carolina.
The funeral for Jones, who died Feb. 10, will take place in Greenville, N.C., and members plan to fly back to the Capitol using military aircraft immediately afterwards for votes.
That vote, too, is expected to be broadly bipartisan, though a group of progressive freshmen — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — say they plan to oppose it.
“The Department of Homeland Security does not deserve an increase in funding, and that is why we intend to vote no on this funding package,” they wrote.
The border funding was not the only sticky issue in funding talks.
Earlier Thursday, McConnell vented at House Democrats for what he described as obstruction to another extension of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. The 1994 law to protect domestic violence victims is now set to temporarily expire after party leaders failed to agree on certain protections, such as people who are transgender, that Democrats sought to add.
Schumer (D-N.Y.) described the deal as a “reasonable compromise” and expects Congress to pass it this afternoon. He also touted that the bill does not provide money for Trump’s border wall, but funds “smart border security initiatives that both parties have always supported.”
Yet Democrats blamed Republicans for refusing to concede on other outstanding issues, such as backpay for thousands of federal contractors who went unpaid for 35 days during the last shutdown.

Marianne Levine contributed to this story. 

Source: Politico

Nvidia stock rises over 4% after earnings top expectations

NVIDIA Corp.

by Wallace Witkowski

FX | Currencies: German data fails to sink euro as US tariffs eyed

5-7 minutes




Dan Kitwood | Getty Images
The euro rose from a three-month low on Thursday as hopes of progress in China-U.S. trade talks lifted risk appetite towards major currencies across the board, with the British pound the only laggard before a parliamentary debate on Brexit.
Even economic data showing Germany's economy stalled in the fourth quarter of 2018 with Italy already in recession failed to pull the euro significantly lower in quiet trading.
"If we had a negative print on German growth that may have hit the euro but we need to await for more details on his strategy towards the European auto sector before pushing the euro higher," said Jeremy Stretch, head of G10 FX strategy at CIBC Capital Markets in London.
Market analysts fear that U.S. President Donald Trump could turn his attention to European imports after China and potentially impose tariffs on European automakers in the coming days.
The United States is the main export destination of European Union cars, well ahead of China, and the impact is significant especially for Germany, which has the biggest value added in exports of cars to the U.S.
Massive option expiries amounting to $1.2 billion around $1.13 were expected to keep the euro spot market in a tight range.
Risk appetite grew after China reported dollar-denominated exports rose 9.1 percent in January from a year earlier and imports dropped 1.5 percent.
The strong trade data fueled gains by the Chinese currency in the offshore market. The yuan gained 0.17 percent to 6.7711.
The Australian dollar, a barometer for global risk appetite, was up 0.23 percent at $0.7104 and on track for its best three-day rising streak so far this year.
Bloomberg reported President Donald Trump was considering pushing back by 60 days a March 1 deadline for resolving trade disputes with China, citing people familiar with the matter. On Wednesday, Trump had said the talks were "going along very well."
Elsewhere, German data showed its economy stalled in the final quarter of 2018, narrowly avoiding recession. But the numbers were in line with forecasts and weak eurozone GDP data for the quarter had already tempered expectations.
Broadly, the euro zone economy slowed as expected year-on-year in the last three months of 2018.
The euro was up 0.28 percent at $1.1297.
The pound fell 0.33 percent to $1.2801 before a parliamentary vote that could give investors a sense of which way a forthcoming vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's deal with Brussels will go.

Source: CNBC

Bond Yields Report: US Treasury yields fall after weakest retail sales data since 2009

Fred Imbert, Silvia Amaro



U.S. government debt prices rose on Thursday as investors sought safety following disappointing retail sales data.
The 10-year Treasury note yield fell to 2.64 percent, while the 2-year rate dropped to 2.489 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.
Retail sales fell 1.2 percent in December, marking their biggest monthly drop since September 2009, according to The Commerce Department. The department also said retail sales fell 0.9 percent in December when excluding gasoline station sales.
Equities fell on the back of the report as well, with investors worried once again about the prospects of slower economic growth.
"The bottom line on this data release is that it is truly dreadful pretty much across the board," Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies, said in a note. "Taken literally, this data release would indicate that the consumer sector collapsed in December. This release is such an outlier and so incongruous with the general trend in consumer spending, holiday consumer sales reports and holiday seasons consumer credit data that it does raise suspicions of data reliability."
"In the context of the government shutdown and delayed data collection, we still think that some suspicion is warranted," McCarthy said.
The data were enough to offset positive sentiment around U.S.-China trade talks. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that talks were "going very well" as both sides look to reach an agreement before early March.

Source: CNBC

Wall Street Closing Report: S&P 500 snaps 4-day winning streak after worst retail sales drop since 2009

Fred Imbert



The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower on Thursday following the release of much weaker-than-expected retail sales data.
Retail sales fell 1.2 percent in December, marking their biggest monthly drop since September 2009, according to The Commerce Department. The department also said retail sales fell 0.9 percent in December when excluding gasoline station sales.
"This number was terrible," said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, in a note. "The US consumer is holding the global economy on its shoulders. After seeing today's data, we better hope it was a one month outlier and that the rebound in stocks in January and month to date will revive consumer spending."
Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Treasury yields also fell on the weak data. The benchmark 10-year rate traded around 2.66 percent, down from about 2.69 percent.
The U.S. dollar also fell against other major currencies. The euro rose 0.3 percent to $1.1298 against the dollar, while the yen gained 0.2 percent.
Lael Brainard, a Federal Reserve governor, told CNBC on Thursday that downside risks to the economy "have definitely increased."
The data come amid ongoing the U.S.-China trade talks. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that talks were "going very well" as both sides look to reach an agreement before an early March deadline. On Thursday, Bloomberg News reported Trump may be willing to extend the deadline by 60 days.
Furthermore, the South China Morning Post reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with U.S. delegates on Friday, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq came into Thursday's session riding four-day winning streaks. Both indexes, along with the 30-stock Dow, were up at least 1 percent as of Wednesday's close.
"A lot of people, including myself, think a trade will get accomplished," said Ryan Nauman, market strategist at Informa Financial Intelligence. "The fact that President Trump is potentially willing to extend that deadline is good news that a trade deal will get done. It's just a matter of when."
—CNBC's Silvia Amaro contributed to this report.

Source: CNBC

McConnell says Trump will sign spending bill and declare national emergency

By SARAH FERRIS and JOHN BRESNAHAN



Donald Trump
Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images
Congress
It's still unknown whether Trump will sign the bill.
Update, 3:16 p.m.: President Donald Trump plans to sign a bipartisan spending deal and then declare a national emergency to fund his border wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday.
The move will avert a government shutdown Friday while immediately fueling a fierce battle in the courts.
Story Continued Below
"He is prepared to sign the bill," McConnell said. "He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time."
Original story:
Congress faces a critical test Thursday as both chambers will vote on a giant funding deal that would temporarily end a long-running border dispute and avert another humiliating government shutdown.
The $328 billion package — which funds one-quarter of the government — is the result of roughly two weeks of frenetic talks between Democratic and Republican negotiators from both chambers.
Top GOP spending leaders insist they’ve kept close contact with the White House throughout the talks but have offered no promise that President Donald Trump would back the measure.
In a show of Congress’s desperation to keep the government funded past Friday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) began Senate business Thursday morning with a prayer that Trump would sign the bill.
“Let’s all pray the president will have wisdom to sign the bill so the government doesn’t shut down,” Grassley said, just before reciting the daily Pledge of Allegiance.
Trump has indicated that he doesn’t want to see the government shuttered, saying Wednesday that “a shutdown would be a terrible thing.” But he also hinted that he’d try to go around Congress to fund his much-sought after border wall, possibly through an executive order.
Without Trump’s signature by the end of Friday, nearly a dozen government agencies, from the IRS to TSA, could lurch into another shutdown — an outcome that lawmakers say they’re in no mood to handle.
The Senate is set to vote early Thursday afternoon, with what’s expected to be broad bipartisan support.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the floor Thursday that both parties should support what he called a “solid deal” that mostly avoided partisan bickering over so-called “poison pill” riders.
“We’ll be voting to deliver another down payment on the president’s commitment to securing our nation’s borders and keeping American communities safe,” McConnell said.
The Kentucky Republican vented at House Democrats for what he described as obstruction to another extension of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. The 1994 law to protect domestic violence victims is now set to temporarily expire after party leaders failed to agree on certain protections, such as people who are transgender, that Democrats sought to add.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) described the deal as a “reasonable compromise” and expects Congress to pass it this afternoon. He also touted that the bill does not provide money for Trump’s border wall, but funds “smart border security initiatives that both parties have always supported.”
Yet Democrats blamed Republicans for refusing to concede on other outstanding issues, such as backpay for thousands of federal contractors who went unpaid for 35 days during the last shutdown.
The House will take up the measure Thursday night. Votes will take place sometime after 6:30 p.m. so that lawmakers can attend the funerals of the late Reps. John Dingell of Michigan and Walter Jones of North Carolina.
The funeral for Jones, who died Feb. 10, will take place in Greenville, N.C., and members plan to fly back to the Capitol using military aircraft immediately afterwards for votes.
A group of progressive freshmen — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — announced opposition to the package in a joint statement Thursday.
“The Department of Homeland Security does not deserve an increase in funding, and that is why we intend to vote no on this funding package,” they wrote.
The bill includes $1.37 billion for 55 miles of physical barrier along the southern border in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas — far less than the $5.7 billion that the White House had sought.
Republicans, too, claimed victory, saying that the deal includes “unprecedented investments” in physical barriers, law enforcement, counter-narcotics and humanitarian aid along the border.
They also touted “record” detention capacity for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement — an agency that some progressive Democrats have sought to defund altogether.
Some of Trump’s key allies say the president wants to see the text of the bill before he makes a decision.
If Trump decides to veto the bill — the first of his presidency — then House Democratic leaders would be expected to return to Washington over the weekend to attempt their first veto override.
In an unusual move, neither Democrats nor Republicans will hold a full briefing for their members on the contents of the roughly 1,100 page spending bill.
Lawmakers will vote on the text less than 24 hours after it was released, forcing Democrats to waive their 72-hour rule, in an attempt to clear the bill by Friday’s deadline.
Marianne Levine contributed to this story. 

Source: Politico

Crude Oil Price Report | Oil rises for third day on US-China trade optimism, OPEC supply cuts

6-8 minutes



Oil rose for a third day on Thursday, with Brent crude reaching its highest so far this year, but gains were capped after the steepest decline in U.S. retail spending since 2009 heightened investor fears of a global economic slowdown.
Prices clawed back gains after stock markets pared some losses. Crude futures also drew support from investor optimism that the United States and China could resolve their trade dispute.
Brent crude futures were up 88 cents, or 1.4 percent, at $64.49 a barrel around 2:05 p.m. ET, down from a session high of $64.81, their highest intraday level in nearly three months.
U.S. crude futures rose 50 cents, or nearly 1 percent, to $54.40 a barrel, after earlier topping out at $54.68, about $1 shy of its 2019 high.

U.S. financial markets opened lower and global stock markets erased broad gains after retail sales in the world's largest economy recorded their biggest drop in more than nine years in December.
The U.S. economy's outlook was further dimmed by other data showing an unexpected increase in the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits last week.
"Oil prices sold off in reaction to the very weak retail sales data in the U.S. that drove selling across-the-board," said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital Management in New York.
"Once again, the weak demand narrative is outweighing some of the other supportive factors on the supply side."
The price of crude has risen 20 percent this year, driven primarily by the prospect of a decline in oil supply from OPEC and other top exporters such as Russia.
The producer group known as OPEC+ has agreed to cut crude output by a joint 1.2 million barrels per day. Top exporter Saudi Arabia said it would cut even more in March than the deal called for.
"While medium-term trends pose some challenges, we still see a balanced oil supply/demand outlook this year. Brent should average $70 in 2019, helped by voluntary (Saudi, Kuwait, UAE) and involuntary (Venezuela, Iran) declines in OPEC supply," Bank of America analysts said in a note.
Oil prices also drew support from a surprise increase in China's exports in January and a sharp rise in imports of crude oil before the Lunar New Year holidays in February.
However, in physical markets, the steep rise in availability of U.S. shale oil is leading to a build in domestic inventories of crude and in refined products.
Government data on Wednesday showed U.S. crude stocks last week rose to their highest since November 2017 as refiners cut runs to the lowest since October 2017.
— CNBC's Tom DiChristopher contributed to this report.

Source: CNBC

Metals Prices Report | Gold rises as weak US economic data drags dollar

4-5 minutes



Gold coins
Getty Images
Gold prices rose on Thursday as the dollar fell on weak economic data from the United States, which bolstered expectations the Federal Reserve would stick to its dovish stance on monetary policy.
Spot gold rose 0.45 percent to $1,311.96 per ounce as of 2:13 p.m. ET. U.S gold futures settled $1.20 lower at $1,313.90.
The dollar index fell, weighed down by a string of disappointing U.S. data, with retail sales recording their biggest drop in nine years in December and weekly jobless claims registering an increase.
The dollar's slide soon after the data, which compounded worries of an economic slowdown, helped bullion shake off limited headwinds from earlier in the session and turn positive.
The weak data "will continue to keep the Fed on hold. That is helpful for gold," said George Gero, managing director at RBC Wealth Management, adding that some short-covering by investors was also playing a part in gold's gains.
"We had a setback (earlier in the session) and the buyers have stepped in."
Gold prices have risen more than 12 percent since touching more than 1-1/2-year lows in mid-August, mostly on expectations of a pause in interest rate hikes. Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold and weigh on the dollar.
Meanwhile, investors continued to keep a close eye on news surrounding the U.S.-China trade dispute amid growing optimism for a breakthrough after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the talks were "going along very well".
Also on investors' radar was a deadlock in Washington over funding for a border wall with Mexico, with the U.S. Congress trying to avoid a partial government shutdown.
"We are not going to have a huge movement in gold until we find what is going on with the potential shutdown in the U.S. and also the meeting with China," said Afshin Nabavi, senior vice president at MKS SA.
With gold unable to record a significant break above its recent steady range, the world's largest gold-backed ETF SPDR Gold Trust, had increased outflows, with holdings down more than 3 percent so far this month.
Gold is range-bound between $1,300 and $1,325 and weakness in the U.S. dollar and clarity on Sino-U.S. trade talks would drive it above $1,325 and potentially towards $1,350, said ABN AMRO analyst Georgette Boele.
Palladium rose 1 percent to $1,409 per ounce. Platinum fell 0.06 percent at $783 per ounce and silver gained 0.22 percent to $15.59.

Source: CNBC

Metals | Spot Prices as of the Close of Trading in New York


4
Spot Prices as of the close of trading in New York
 
Thursday, February 14, 2019
 
 
 
GOLD
 
TODAY
 
$1,312.90
CHANGE
 
-$1.30
WEEK AGO
 
$1,317.30
MONTH AGO
 
$1,290.20
YEAR AGO
 
$1,356.95
SILVER
 
TODAY
 
$15.50
CHANGE
 
-$0.13
WEEK AGO
 
$15.73
MONTH AGO
 
$15.67
YEAR AGO
 
$16.92
PLATINUM
 
TODAY
 
$789.00
CHANGE
 
-$2.60
WEEK AGO
 
$803.00
MONTH AGO
 
$800.30
YEAR AGO
 
$1,001.30
PALLADIUM
 
TODAY
 
$1,415.00
CHANGE
 
+$10.50
WEEK AGO
 
$1,393.50
MONTH AGO
 
$1,325.75
YEAR AGO
 
$1,000.25
 
GOLD/SILVER RATIO
 
84.70

3 Reasons NIO, 'China's Tesla,' Should Be On Your Radar

4-6 minutes



In case you've never heard of it, NIO Inc. (NYSE:) is a Shanghai-based automobile manufacturer specializing in designing and developing electric autonomous vehicles. The company, which has been dubbed the 'Tesla of China', was founded four years ago and listed on the New York Stock Exchange this past September, raising $1.8 billion.
It currently offers two main models, the ES6, which is a five-passenger SUV with a 358,000 , or $52,000 price tag, and the ES8, which is an upscale, seven-passenger, three-row SUV positioned as a domestic Chinese alternative to Tesla's (NASDAQ:) Model X. It's priced at 448,000 yuan, or around $65,000 versus the Model X's sticker price of $113,000.
NIO's third model, the EP9, is an electric-powered, two-seater sports car, which the company claims is one of the world's fastest electric cars. Its 1,360-horsepower engine propels it to 160 mph in 7.1 seconds. Only six have been sold so far for a hefty $1.2 million apiece.
Besides the incredible upside for the entire electric vehicle industry, thus for the company as well, there are three additional reasons which we believe makes this stock something that should be on every investor's radar.

1. Accelerating Sales in China

NIO delivered a total of 11,348 vehicles in 2018, over-fulfilling their respective sales targets, among which 3,318 units were handed over in December alone.
NEV Completion Rate 2018
NEV Completion Rate 2018
The company is already outselling Tesla (NASDAQ:) in China by a wide margin, as the U.S. electric automaker has struggled under trade war tariffs, which have driven up the price of its Model X SUV and Model 3 Sedan.
Tesla vs NIO
Tesla vs NIO
China is the world's largest and fast-growing market for new-energy vehicles (NEVs), a category comprising electric battery cars and plug-in electric hybrids. China’s NEV sales shot up 61.7% year-on-year to 1.256 million units in 2018, according to sales data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
Looking beyond China, NIO has ambitions to expand into Europe and the U.S. in the next two to three years, according to Jack Cheng, one of the founders of NIO and now the CEO of XPT, NIO’s powertrain division. He says it's:
“The first vehicle to market to the European standard already so we will be able to take a step into Europe. Then we can begin moving into the U.S. because it is a more critical market.”

2. Big-Time Investor Backing

The buzz about NIO increased following reports that U.K. investment management firm and Tesla investor Baillie Gifford acquired an 11.4% stake in the Chinese company on Oct. 9. The firm owns 85.3 million NIO shares, the company said in a filing with the U.S.'s Securities and Exchange Commission.
The news made some serious waves. Baillie Gifford is Tesla's largest outside shareholder, with a 9% stake. Tesla's largest investor, founder and CEO Elon Musk, owns about 20% of shares.
Investment advisory firm Vanguard and Morgan Stanley also disclosed that they purchased 19 million and 12 million shares respectively of NIO during the most recent quarter. Other prominent investors include China's Tencent Holdings (OTC:), tech company Baidu (NASDAQ:), privately-held Singaporean holding company Temasek, Chinese tech company Lenovo (OTC:) and Sequoia Capital.
Additionally, notorious short-seller Andrew Left of Citron Research published a lengthy thesis on NIO and made the long case for shares to rally to $12. They're currently trading at $7.44 as of yesterday's close.
"Just like Tesla was not a simple U.S. electric car story, NIO is so much more than just a Chinese electric car story. NIO’s visionary management is revolutionizing the high-end auto industry in China," he wrote in a note on Nov. 19. According to Citron, the Chinese EV automaker is "not just a car company," but "a lifestyle and a brand that is ready to disrupt."

3. Bullish Technical Picture

Since shares began trading on Sept. 12, the stock hit a high of $13.80 and a low of $5.62. At yesterday's closing price, that represents a gain of around 19.4% from its IPO price of $6.00.
From a technical standpoint, the stock broke above key resistance near the $8.30 level on Feb. 6, before pulling back in a constructive manner, towards its 50-day moving average at around $7. The stock needs to hold this level before successfully retesting its recent breakout price.
NIO chart

NIO chart

Source: Investing

Europe Markets Closing Report | European markets edge lower after US retail sales disappoint

Sam Meredith



European stocks slipped lower on Thursday after a flurry of earnings results was superseded by disappointing U.S. retail data.
 
FTSE FTSE 100 7211.11 20.27 0.28% 326724441
DAX DAX 11108.48 -58.74 -0.53% 61848745
CAC CAC 5076.65 2.38 0.05% 62711941
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.2 percent lower in afternoon trade after rallying earlier in the session.
Europe's industrials stocks led the gains during early morning deals, up more than 1 percent amid earnings news. France's Airbus was one of the top sectoral performers, after the company announced stronger-than-anticipated fourth-quarter results. Europe's largest aerospace group also said it was scrapping its flagship A380 plane. Shares of the Paris-listed stock rose more than 4.7 percent on the news.
Looking at individual stocks, Micro Focus – Britain's second largest listed tech firm – surged to the top of the European benchmark on Thursday after posting a better-than-expected decline in pro-forma revenue. The stock gained more than 14 percent by the afternoon.
Meanwhile, Germany's Gerresheimer was also among the top performers. The medical equipment maker said it was "back on the growth path" after reporting fourth-quarter results, prompting shares to advance by almost 12 percent.
Britain's Convatec slumped to the bottom of the index after the catheter and colostomy bag maker reported adjusted operating profit had slipped 6 percent in 2018. It said the risk of a no-deal Brexit had prompted the group to stockpile appropriately to deal with any potential supply disruptions. Shares of Convatec tanked more than 20 percent at one stage.
Stateside, data released on Thursday showed that U.S. retail sales declined at their fastest pace since 2009 in December. That was enough to hurt stocks in Europe and the retail sector was down 0.63 percent following the news.
Back in the U.K., lawmakers are set to debate and vote on the next steps in the Brexit process later in the session.
It comes as Prime Minister Theresa May continues to try to get a deal through Parliament, with time running out before the country leaves the European Union next month.

Global trade

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizier in China for high-level negotiations.
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that talks were "going along very well," with both sides trying to resolve a long-running dispute before a March 1 deadline.
Officials in Washington and Beijing had previously said they were hopeful a new round of trade talks, which began at the start of the week, could bring both sides closer to a comprehensive deal.
Meanwhile, Beijing reported stronger-than-anticipated trade data on Thursday, offering a welcome relief to investors concerned about a global economic downturn.
China reported exports advanced 9.1 percent in January on a year earlier, defying expectations, while imports slipped 1.5 percent.
In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, dipped 0.3 percent.