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Europe: Stocks drop at open

[LONDON] Europe's main stock markets fell at the start of trading on Thursday, as dealers await the outcome of the European Central Bank's latest policy meeting on interest rates and stimulus.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 0.4 per cent to 7,308.47 points compared with the close on Wednesday.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 0.4 per cent to 11,923.51 points and the Paris CAC 40 dipped 0.2 per cent to 4,950.53.

The European Central Bank will maintain massive support for the eurozone economy when governors meet Thursday, analysts predict, despite growing evidence the health of the bloc is improving.

Inflation is close to the bank's target, lending support to critics' calls for the ECB to raise historic low interest rates and wind down its tens of billions of euros per month in government and corporate bond purchases.


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