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Europe: Stock markets slide at open

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Europe's stock markets slid at the start of trading on Wednesday following falls in Asia, as US Democrats launched formal impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

[LONDON] Europe's stock markets slid at the start of trading on Wednesday following falls in Asia, as US Democrats launched formal impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 0.5 per cent to 7,254.40 points, as British MPs return to parliament one day after a momentous Supreme Court ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend parliament ahead of Brexit was unlawful.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index retreated 0.5 per cent to 12,247.75 points and the Paris CAC 40 shed 0.6 per cent to 5,594.17 at the open compared with Tuesday's closing levels.

"Markets have taken a bit of tumble on fears US president Trump could be impeached, while the (UK) drama... is just as intoxicating as the Brexit drama rumbles on," noted Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at trading group Markets.com.

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In a dramatic move Tuesday in the US, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry.

Wall Street closed with sizeable losses ahead of her expected announcement.

AFP