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Europe: Stocks post weekly decline as risk aversion reigns

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[STOCKHOLM] European stocks fell for the fourth time in five days, widening a weekly decline and moving further away from a 15-month high they reached just a week ago.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.2 per cent the close. Twelve out of 19 industry groups declined, with energy shares falling the most. The regional benchmark slipped 0.5 per cent this week as investors questioned the extent to which US President Donald Trump can deliver on growth policies that have been priced in since his election.

European equities closed lower after senior congressional aide said House GOP leaders aren't confident they have the votes to pass the health-care bill. House GOP leaders delayed vote on the health-care bill on Thursday amid doubts it could pass.

Reports from Germany and France showed better-than-forecast manufacturing and services in March, signaling strength in the key euro-zone economies Deutsche Bank AG strategists wrote in a note they expect the Stoxx 600 to rise to a level of 435 in the next five years, an increase of 15 per cent from Thursday's close.

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