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The Deal: European Stocks Slip After Yellen Hints at Rate Increases

LONDON (The Deal) -- European and Asian indices followed U.S. markets lower on Thursday after comments from Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen pointed to earlier-than-expected rate rises from the world's most powerful central bank.

In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.67% at 6,529.39, with 84 of the constituent companies posting declines.

Clothing retailer Next was a rare gainer after posting earnings in the financial year ended January ahead of expectations and increasing its forecast for sales growth in the current year.

Pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) slid after it reported that clinical trials for a compound in development to treat lung cancer hadn't demonstrated any benefit to patients in the test.

In Frankfurt, the DAX slipped 0.51% to 9,230.00. Bayerische Motoren Werke built on Wednesday's gains after positive commentary about the 2014 profit outlook. Insurer Munich RE rose after it announced a 1 billion euros ($1.38 billion) share buyback and 2013 profit of 3.3 billion euros that it said was the third highest in the company's history.

In Paris, the CAC 40 slid 0.57% to 4,283.55.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped 1.79% to close at 21,282.16.

Clothing supplier Li & Fung, a major vendor to Wal-Mart Stores, carved out a near-1% gain after announcing a 21% increase in 2013 net profit to $755 million, as earnings rebounded more than expected from a decline in 2012. It also announced a new three-year plan focused on expanding through organic growth.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed down 1.65% at 14,224.23.

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