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Europe: Shares steady in early deals, focus on Yellen

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[LONDON] European equities steadied in early trading on Friday, with investors focusing on a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen later in the session for hints about the timing of a US interest rate hike.

Yellen will deliver the keynote speech at a global central bank gathering in Jackson Hole. Hawkish comments from a slew of other Fed officials have already raised expectations of a rate hike this year.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.1 per cent by 0722 GMT after falling in the previous session. Britain's FTSE 100 index also fell 0.1 per cent, while Germany's DAX was down 0.2 per cent.