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[LONDON] European shares slipped on Thursday as weak oil prices weighed on equities, although major regional stock markets were still set to end 2015 with gains over the course of the year.
Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 index and France's benchmark CAC-40 index were both down 0.4 per cent in early trading. Germany's DAX market was closed for a public holiday.
Brent crude oil prices remained near 11-year lows, with shares in oil companies such as BP and Total falling.
Both the FTSE and DAX have fallen from record highs reached in April, caused partly by concerns about a slowdown in China.
Nevertheless, economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB) have propped up euro zone stock markets, with the main German and French markets both up around 10 per cent in 2015.