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Europe: Stocks open down

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[LONDON] Europe's stock markets slipped back at the open on Friday in subdued deals on the last day of the first quarter, following similar losses in Asia.

In initial trade, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index slid 0.4 per cent to 7,339.65 points, as investors awaited Britain's final reading on fourth-quarter GDP.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 dipped 0.1 per cent to 12,241.57 points and the CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.2 per cent to 5,077.30 points.

"We have a relatively quiet run into the weekend break... although attention will once again be on the political agenda," said analyst Tony Cross at trading firm TopTradr.

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Wall Street had rallied Thursday, with banking and oil shares gaining, as US fourth-quarter growth was upgraded and oil prices topped US$50 a barrel.

US economic growth hit 2.1 per cent in the last three months of 2016, which was 0.2 percentage points better than first thought, with crucial consumer spending seeing a strong increase.

However, Asian equities sank Friday as investors positioned themselves and closed their books on the final day of the first quarter.