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Europe: Stocks hover near 3-week low, Dialog and BHP slump

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[LONDON] European stocks hovered near a three-week low on Wednesday, with shares in Dialog Semiconductor and BHP Billiton among the worst performers.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had fallen 1.7 per cent in the previous session to a three-week low, was flat.

Dialog shares slumped 9 per cent after the maker of chips used in Apple and Samsung Electronics smartphones reported a 58-percent drop in underlying operating profit.

Mining stocks such as BHP Billiton fell as weak copper prices impacted the sector.

However, BHP underperformed its peers to decline by 6 per cent after federal prosecutors in Brazil filed a 155 billion-real (US$43.5 billion) civil lawsuit on Tuesday against iron miner Samarco and its owners - Vale and BHP - over the fatal collapse of a dam last November.

French bank Societe Generale rose 3.6 per cent after pledging further cost cuts this year, with the rise in SocGen shares also lifting up the stocks of its rivals BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole.

REUTERS