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Europe: Stock markets drop at open

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[LONDON] Europe's main stock markets slid at the start of trading on Thursday after Tokyo fell heavily as the Bank of Japan decided against fresh stimulus measures.

The move by the BoJ came after the Federal Reserve provided a positive outlook on the global economy, highlighting mixed signals from the world's leading central banks.

At the open on Thursday, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 0.8 per cent to 6,272.63 points compared with Wednesday's closing level.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index shed 0.8 per cent to 10,222.11 points and the Paris CAC 40 retreated by 0.9 per cent in value to 4,520.25.

Tokyo's Nikkei index plunged more than 3.0 per cent on Thursday as the Bank of Japan shocked markets by holding fire on a fresh round of widely expected stimulus measures, sparking questions about whether it had anything left in its arsenal to kickstart the stuttering Japanese economy.

Wall Street had finished mostly higher on Wednesday after the Fed signalled that it was less worried about international economic and market problems than in March, as the US central bank kept interest rates unchanged.

AFP