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Europe: Stock markets drop at open

European stock markets rose at the start of trading on Monday, with London's benchmark FTSE 100 index gaining 0.43 per cent to 6,579.08 points.

[LONDON] Europe's main stock markets fell at the start of trading on Thursday, the eve of US jobs data that could cement expectations of a Fed rate rise next month.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index slid 0.43 per cent to 6,723.69 points, with the Bank of England set to keep its main interest rate at 0.50 per cent in a decision due Thursday.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 dropped 0.26 per cent to 11,605.59 points and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.20 per cent to stand at 5,186.55.

Europe's leading stock markets had closed higher on Wednesday.

Positive US data has meanwhile strengthened the case for an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve as early as next month.

US stocks finished mostly higher Wednesday, but a disappointing earnings report from Disney weighed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Traders are now focusing on Friday's official US employment figures, after payroll firm ADP estimated that the private sector in the world's biggest economy added 185,000 jobs in July, much below the analyst estimates.

The data was offset however by a separate release Wednesday from the Institute for Supply Management, which said the US service sector expanded 4.3 per cent in July to a record high.