European stocks fell at the open Thursday, with dealers booking profits as the ECB prepares to give an update regarding measures to tackle economic fallout triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 index shed 0.7 percent to 12,839.21 points and the Paris CAC 40 lost 0.8 percent to 5,068.78.
Outside the eurozone, London's FTSE 100 index retreated 0.4 percent to 6,269.24 points.
European Central Bank governors are expected to refrain from doling out fresh stimulus medicine Thursday, hoping EU leaders will do their bit to shore up the crisis-hit region with a huge coronavirus recovery plan.
The ECB meeting comes on the eve of an European Union summit in Brussels where leaders will wrangle over a proposed 750-billion-euro ($847-billion) recovery fund to kickstart the bloc's battered economy.
European stock markets had risen sharply Wednesday on hopes for a coronavirus vaccine and more US financial stimulus, dealers said.