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LONDON, Dec 20 AFP

December 20 2012, 7:36PM

Europe's main stock markets retreated in opening deals on Thursday, with London's FTSE 100 index of top companies down 0.05 per cent at 5,958.44 points.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 index lost 0.33 per cent to 7,642.99 points and in Paris the CAC 40 shed 0.34 per cent to 3,652.08.

Trading in shares in the NYSE Euronext trans-Atlantic stock market was suspended for what a spokesman for the company said was technical reasons, but there was market speculation that US rival InterContinental Exchange (ICE) might be mounting a takeover offer.