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European markets closed mostly down on Tuesday.

In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.78% at 6,826.05. The pound today rose 0.93% on the dollar to $1.3428 after weak U.S. service sector data.

Homebuilders were among the main gainers in London.

The high-end housebuilder Berkeley Group was up more than 3.5% in London after reiterating full-year and 2018 profit guidance and saying the residential real estate market has returned to the levels of the first five months of the year after a Brexit blip. The company dropped out of the FTSE 100 last week. It said pricing "has remained resilient and above business plan levels."

Rival Redrow was up more than 6% after reporting "very encouraging sales" for the first 10-weeks of the financial year and full-year results featuring a 20% increase in revenue to a record £1.38 billion ($1.84 billion).

FTSE 100 constituents Taylor Wimpey (TWODF) , Persimmon (PSMMY) and Barratt Developments (BTDPF) rose 1.2%, 1.7% and 1.8% respectively.

In Frankfurt, the Dax gained 0.14% to 10,687.14 and the Cac 40 lost 0.24% to 4,529.96 in Paris.

Bayer (BAYRY) shares gained 1.8% in afternoon trading after announcing it had raised its bid for Monsanto MON. Bayer said it would pay $127.50 for the U.S.-based seed giant. This was up from a previous bid of $125. Monsanto's shares were trading up 13 cents at $107.57  early afternoon in New York.

In Paris Ingenico plunged more than 13% after the payment systems group cut 2016 forecasts for organic revenue and Ebitda growth. It attributed its problems to payment-system rule changes in the U.S. and difficult macroeconomic conditions in Brazil.

In London Sports Direct rose more than 5% after announcing improved conditions for workers, including a reduction of zero-hours contracts. The company published an initial report on working practices after institutional investors pushed it to launch a review. The company said it had uncovered "serious shortcomings."

In Frankfurt Fresenius gained more than 5% after its hospitals division agreed to spend €5.76 billion ($6.4 billion) buying Spain's leading private hospitals operator, IDC Salud, from CVC Capital Partners.

Volkswagen (VLKAY)  closed down 0.1%. The German company today announced that its trucks division was acquiring a 16.6% stake in truck maker Navistar International (NAV) .

Shares in the carmaker however, had earlier dipped sharply after a lawyer for the company walked out of an Irish court due to hear a VW executive testify about the diesel emission scandal. The lawyer, Paul Fogarty, walked out to demonstrate he did not accept the court's jurisdiction.

On the data front, the British Retail Consortium/KPMG August retail sales monitor unexpectedly fell, with same-store sales declining 0.9% after 1.1% monthly growth in July. That compared with the 1.4% increase analysts had expected and contrasts with recent upbeat indicators of post-Brexit-vote consumer demand from institutions including the Confederation of British Industry, market research group GfK and IHS Markit.

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