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Europe: Stocks edge higher at open


[LONDON] European stocks markets came off to a firm start Thursday, buoyed by strength in Asia and reassured that Wall Street held up in the face of political uncertainty, dealers said.

London's FTSE 100 index opened a touch higher than Wednesday's close, rising 1.4 points to 7,326.11, with the previous day's terror attack in central London showing no noticeable effect on shares prices.

In the eurozone, Paris and Frankfurt also eked out tiny gains at the opening bell.

"While European markets slipped back sharply yesterday, US stocks managed to stabilise after their big falls on Tuesday," noted Michael Hewson, chief analyst at CMC Markets UK.

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Any upside was limited, however, by concerns about the US administration's ability to deliver on promises on tax and banking reform, he said.

Earlier, Asian markets edged up as investors tracked a bounce in New York, with the focus now on a crucial congressional vote on US healthcare reform later in the day.