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Europe: Stock markets dip at open


[LONDON] Europe's main stock markets eased at the start of trading Thursday as investors reacted to the Federal Reserve's outlook on US interest rates and a slump for oil prices overnight.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index shed 0.1 per cent to 7,466.59 points compared with the close on Wednesday - and ahead of British retail sales data.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index eased just a few points to 12,801.91 and the Paris CAC 40 lost 0.2 per cent to 5,235.36 The DAX had on Wednesday climbed above 12,900 points for the first time before a pull-back ahead of the Fed's update.

The US Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to 1.0-1.25 per cent on Wednesday and signalled another increase remains likely this year, despite the recent spate of weak economic data.

Oil prices steadied Thursday after slumping three per cent overnight on data showing a smaller-than-forecast drop in US stockpiles - and after the International Energy Agency warned that global output would increase faster than demand next year on rising US production.

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