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European stock markets fall at open

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European stock markets dropped at the start of trading on Thursday following recent gains, with the Bank of England set to unveil more cash stimulus for Britain's ailing economy.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 0.6 percent to 6,215.74 points, ahead of the BoE's regular monetary policy announcement at 1100 GMT.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 lost 0.3 percent o 12,346.87 points and the Paris CAC 40 shed 0.6 percent to 4,967.95.

The Bank of England is expected to announce cash stimulus worth at least £100 billion ($123 billion, 110 billion euros), according to analysts, after the UK economy contracted by one-fifth in April amid a nationwide lockdown triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.

"Some traders are speculating the stimulus package will be upped by £150 billion," said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets.

With £445 billion in cash already swirling around the UK economy to support the economy over the past decade following the global financial crisis and amid Brexit uncertainty, the BoE hiked the amount by £200 billion and slashed its interest rate to a record-low 0.1 percent in the wake of COVID-19.

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