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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.

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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.