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European Stocks Retreat After Hitting Record Peaks

European markets slipped after touching record peaks on Thursday, led lower by export-oriented automakers and a retreat in mining stocks. Banks outperformed after an ECB policymaker renewed talks of a potential rate increase.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index dropped 0.4 percent, paring gains it made during the session earlier. Basic Resources stocks led declines, off by 0.95 percent. Europe's banking index fell 0.1 percent. The eurozone sectoral index gained 0.4 percent, led by advances of between 1.4 percent and 0.7 percent in Commerzbank, BNP Paribas and Intesa Sanpaolo.

The top decliner on the STOXX index was Tullow Oil, plunging 14 percent, after reports that it is launching a £607 million ($749 million) rights issue at a 45 percent discount to its current share price to lower debt burden. Berkeley Group was at the top of the benchmark, climbing five percent in early deals. The U.K. housebuilder announced that its profit will reach the top end of analysts expectations.

Among other shares active on corporate news, Nordic bank Nordea dropped six percent after the lender had a dispute with the Swedish government. Nordea's chairman said he would likely propose moving the Swedish headquarters if the government increases fees for the country's banking rescue funds.
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