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Europe: Stocks steady at open

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European stock markets were steady at the start of trading on Wednesday, with dealers in London pausing for breath after the index closed at a record high a day earlier.

[LONDON] European stock markets were steady at the start of trading on Wednesday, with dealers in London pausing for breath after the index closed at a record high a day earlier.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dipped 0.10 per cent to 6,942.06 points compared with Tuesday's close.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 edged up 0.02 per cent to 11,208.27 points and the CAC 40 index in Paris inched down 0.03 per cent to 4,885.00.

Europe's main stock markets had risen on Tuesday, with London's FTSE index of 100 companies closing at its highest level ever, at 6,949.63 points, after eurozone finance ministers backed an extension of Greece's bailout.

The index had been rising steadily for months, helped by central bank stimulus and improvements to the British and US economies that have offset weakness in China and strains in the eurozone.

On Wall Street, the Dow and S&P 500 indices bolted to fresh record highs on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen pledged a cautious approach to raising interest rates.

At the same time, eurozone finance ministers backed new reforms proposed by Greece in exchange for a four-month financial lifeline that will keep the country afloat and in the single currency for the time being.

AFP