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The European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters stands beyond parked automobiles in Frankfurt, Germany. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

(bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- European stocks fell in early trade, mirroring a drop on Wall Street after the Federal Reserve struck a somewhat hawkish tone in its policy statement, while investors turned their focus to the European Central Bank meeting, set to shed light on its asset purchase program.

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5 percent. ECB policy makers will hold their first formal talks on when to end the bank’s bond buying scheme, though it’s less clear whether they’ll make a decision or wait until July. Expectations are split as to whether officials are ready to set a timetable now, or if they’ll hold off for another six weeks.

All 19 Stoxx 600 sectors fell on Thursday, led by media, chemicals and basic resources. The euro gained ground, rising to $1.1815, reviving worries over the outlook for European earnings.

To contact the reporters on this story: Blaise Robinson in Paris at brobinson58@bloomberg.net;Ksenia Galouchko in Moscow at kgalouchko1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net, Beth Mellor

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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