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LONDON (TheDeal) -- European stock markets fell, as U.S. Federal Reserve rate-setters prepared to begin a meeting and figures showed U.K. economic growth slowed more than expected in the first quarter.

The two-day Federal Open Market Committee begins late today, with most analysts expecting no change in policy.

In the U.K., gross domestic product figures for the first quarter showed GDP rose 0.3% on the quarter and 2.4% year on year, down from 0.6% and 3.0% growth the previous quarter. The figures, which come just over a week before the country chooses a new government, may undermine the economic credentials claimed by the ruling Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition in voters' eyes.

In London, the FTSE 100 fell 0.82% to 7,062.42. In Frankfurt, the DAX declined 0.72% to 11,950.76. In Paris, the CAC 40 dropped 1.0% to 5,216.19.

In London, oil producerBP (BP) - Get BP Plc Report rose after first-quarter earnings came in ahead of expectations, despite slumping 26% to $2.6 billion. In Paris, peer Total (TOT) - Get Total SA Report also gained after revealing that rising output had helped mitigate the impact of slumping gasoline prices. The French company's first-quarter net profit fell 22% to $2.6 billion.

In Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Deutsche Bank AG Report led the DAX lower, falling for a second day after announcing a revamp, including splitting off its Postbank consumer lender and cuts to its investment banking operations.

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Daimler (DDAIF) was the main gainer on the DAX after announcing first-quarter results ahead of expectations, with net profit doubling and unit sales and overall revenue both rising by double digits. Healthy demand for Daimler's trucks in North America and car sales in the U.K. contributed to the strong results.

In London, Africa and Asia-focused lender Standard Chartered (SCBFF) fell sharply after warning of a challenging outlook and a near-term impact from "de-risking" actions it is taking. It announced a 22% decline in first-quarter profit to $1.47 billion, in line with expectations.

Pub-restaurant and coffee-shop operator Whitbread (WTBCF) fell despite posting strong full-year revenue and profit growth as it announced that CEO Andy Harrison will step down by the year ending next February.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed down 0.04% at 28,422.09, with mainland Chinese indices sustaining far larger losses after a string of disappointing earnings bulletins.

The Wall Street Journal reported late afternoon, local time, that China's central bank is planning to launch a credit-easing program that would allow Chinese banks to swap local-government bailout bonds for loans as a way to bolster liquidity and boost lending. It cited unnamed officials.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed up 0.38% at 20.058.95.

Tokyo Electron (TOELY) plunged almost 15% after the semiconductor equipment maker and its merger partner Applied Materials (AMAT) - Get Applied Materials, Inc. Report on Monday called off their union because of U.S. Department of Justice objections.

Industrial robot maker Fanucundefined closed up 3.3% after doubling its dividend payout target to 60% of net profit.