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Europe: Stocks drop as bonds gain

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[LONDON] Stocks in Europe declined and bonds gained with the euro as investors assessed messages from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank meetings this week, while concerns about the US tax overhaul lingered. The dollar steadied and Treasuries were little changed.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index followed benchmarks from Hong Kong to Tokyo and Sydney lower after all major US equity gauges fell earlier.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 0.3 per cent as of 8.08am London time.  The UK's FTSE 100 Index dipped 0.1 per cent.  Germany's DAX Index fell 0.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, the euro headed for a weekly gain after the ECB remained cautious about the prospects of reaching its inflation goals, even as it reiterated a pledge to keep stimulus in place.

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Most European bonds advanced. The pound swung between gains and losses while yields on UK gilts dropped to the lowest since September amid speculation Brexit talks are about to get more difficult. Crude oil advanced and gold pushed higher.

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