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(Bloomberg) -- European stocks fell in a broad decline as traders were cautious before the Dutch elections and a Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.3 percent at 8:35 a.m. in London, with 18 of 19 sectors lower. The benchmark ended Monday just 0.3 percent below its highest close of the year, propelled by gains in commodity producers. The U.K.’s FTSE 250 slipped from yesterday’s record-high close.
* With just one day to go until the Federal Reserve’s rate decision, futures traders held fast to their wagers that an interest-rate increase is a virtual certainty; policy updates from central banks in the U.K., Switzerland and Japan will follow.* Shares in commodity producers slumped 0.5 percent Tuesday; Morgan Stanley said in a note it’s a “patient bull” on raw materials. Precious metals are the bank’s top commodity pick, with nickel its preferred base metal.* The Dutch benchmark AEX Index had its highest close since 2007 on Monday. Opinion polls were split on Monday, with two showing Rutte’s Liberals ahead of the anti-Islam, anti-European Union Freedom Party and the other showing the two parties tied.* The FTSE 100 wasn’t fazed by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s calls for a second independence referendum. The index closed 0.3 percent higher Monday.
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