LONDON ( The Deal) -- European stocks retreated on Thursday ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting.
Central bankers in Frankfurt will announce their rate decision at 7:45 a.m. EST followed by a press conference at which investors will be looking for news on asset purchase plans.
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Watch the video below for a closer look at how European markets are doing in midday trading Thursday:
Despite flailing eurozone growth, few observers expect further rate cuts after September action that took the benchmark refinancing rate to 0.05%.
The Bank of England also meets Thursday to decide whether to lift British rates beyond the historic low 0.5%, where they have sat for five and a half years.
In London, the FTSE 100 declined 0.30% to 6,519.22. In Frankfurt, the DAX was down 0.15% at 9,301.50. German factory orders in September expanded by just 0.8% month on month, compared with consensus forecasts for about 2.2% growth.
In Paris, the CAC 40 ceded 0.34% to trade at 4,194.88 by around noon local time.
In Britain, the Competition and Markets Authority confirmed, as expected, that it will launch an investigation into the personal and small business banking markets, aligning with the government's drive to spur competition in the banking sector.