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Europe: Stocks slide at open

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[LONDON] Europe's main stock markets slid at the start of trading on Thursday, mirroring falls across Asia following worse-than-expected economic data from China.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 0.5 per cent to 6,987.97 points compared with the close on Wednesday.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 0.9 per cent to 10,425.79 points and the Paris CAC 40 retreated 0.7 per cent to 4,421.81.

China's exports plummeted last month, data showed Thursday, as anaemic global demand dealt another blow to the world's second-largest economy, while weak imports fuelled worries about crucial domestic appetite.