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Europe: Stocks recede at open, with ECB in focus


[LONDON] Europe's stock markets declined in opening deals on Thursday, as investor caution prevailed before the European Central Bank's latest interest rate call amid rising hopes of more stimulus.

London's FTSE 100 index dipped 0.1 per cent at 6,412.19 points in initial trade.

Elsewhere, Frankfurt's DAX 30 slid 0.2 per cent to 11,173.79 points and the Paris CAC 40 also reversed 0.2 per cent to stand at 4,895.64 compared with Wednesday's closing level.

Later on Thursday, ECB policymakers are widely expected to step up their vast stimulus programme to counter weak inflation and boost economic growth.

At the ECB's last monetary policy meeting of the year, analysts said president Mario Draghi will likely announce a beefing up of the bank's bond purchase programme and a possible cut in key interest rates, which are already at historic lows.