European stocks dip in early trading

<p>The Stoxx Europe 600 Index has fallen 0.1 per cent in early trading.</p>

European stocks edged lower during trading this morning (March 1st), but the decline was limited by Thales SA reporting profit that exceeded analysts' expectations.

According to Bloomberg, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index had shed 0.1 per cent by 08:23 GMT in London, putting it on 289.72 points.

Thales SA's results were one of few bright spots in early trading, with Rio Tinto dropping 1.3 per cent on speculation it is to sell off its iron ore operations in Canada and Deutsche Bank AG falling 2.2 per cent after being downgraded by Goldman Sachs.

Belgacom Group also suffered, with its share price falling the most in ten months after the Belgian telecoms company revealed a 2013 forecast that fell short of expectations..

The Stoxx Europe 600 is still up 3.6 per cent so far in 2013, with investor optimism boosted after policymakers in the US managed to agree a deal that prevented the country's economy falling off a fiscal cliff and into recession.

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