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Europe: Stock markets steady at open

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[LONDON] Europe's main stock markets were steady at the start of trading on Thursday, with investors awaiting the outcomes of key meetings of the ECB and Opec in Vienna.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 0.2 per cent to 6,201.97 points compared with Wednesday's close.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 eased 0.1 per cent to 10,199.20 points and the CAC 40 in Paris dipped 0.2 per cent to 4,468.84.

The European Central Bank, expected to hold fire on monetary policy at its meeting in the Austrian capital Thursday, will likely focus instead on welcoming Greece back into the fold of fully-fledged eurozone borrowers after a bailout deal, analysts said.

After months of fighting the threat of deflation in the single currency area, the European Central Bank could even upgrade its inflation forecasts for the first time in a long time, ECB watchers said.

Also in Vienna on Thursday, Opec is expected to keep the oil gushing as a modest recovery in the crude price eases pressure on the divided cartel to cut or freeze output.

Markets were gearing up also for key US jobs data due Thursday and Friday.