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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) - Get GlaxoSmithKline Plc Report 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.

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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.