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Europe: Stocks ease at open

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[LONDON] Europe's main stock markets fell slightly at the start of trading on Wednesday, as investors reacted to German data and awaited Britain's budget.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dipped 0.1 per cent to 7,333.89 points compared with the close on Tuesday.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 0.4 per cent to 11,922.86 points and the Paris CAC 40 lost 0.3 per cent to 4,941.18.

Industrial production in Germany grew 2.8 per cent in January, preliminary data showed Wednesday, comforting fears that global economic uncertainty could put the brakes on Europe's largest economy.

"After yesterday's shocking new orders data, today's industrial production data brings some relief for the German economy," said ING Diba bank analyst Carsten Brzeski.

In London, British finance minister Philip Hammond unveils his latest tax and spend plans Wednesday in a budget expected to exude caution as the country prepares to trigger Brexit.


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