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Europe: Stocks weaken at open on ECB disappointment

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[LONDON] Europe's main stock markets fell further at the start of trade on Friday, one day after the European Central Bank failed to deliver new stimulus measures.

Sentiment was dampened by earlier losses in most of Asia, where investors were rattled by concerns over North Korea's nuclear test.

In opening deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index started the day 0.2 per cent lower at 6,842.81 points.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 dipped 0.3 per cent to 10,641.81 points and the Paris CAC 40 sagged 0.2 per cent to open at 4,531.42 compared with Thursday's close.

The ECB opted against fresh stimulus, with president Mario Draghi calling for "patience" to see the effect of vast amounts of cash already injected into the system.

Policymakers made no any changes to the ECB's ultra-loose monetary policy, keeping its asset-buying policy steady at 80 billion euros (S$121.17 billion) per month and holding eurozone borrowing costs at record lows.

"Markets continue to digest disappointment that ECB President Draghi did not offer more," said Mike van Dulken, head of research at trading firm Accendo Markets.

"This likely stems from a combination of his hands being tied for now - things not markedly worse, but not better either - and wanting to see what peers do (Bank of England, Bank of Japan, Federal Reserve) over the next couple of weeks."

The Frankfurt-based central bank's benchmark refinancing interest rate was left at zero per cent, while the rate on the marginal lending facility remains at 0.25 per cent and the bank deposit rate at minus 0.4 per cent.