European shares struggle for direction as traders weigh rate outlook


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       Nov 24 (Reuters) - European stocks opened nearly flat on
Thursday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's November
meeting signalled a slowdown in its pace of interest rate hikes,
with investors looking for fresh cues from the European Central
    The pan-European STOXX 600 index  .STOXX  slipped 0.03% by
0808 GMT, with volumes likely thinned by a U.S. market holiday
for Thanksgiving. 
    Wall Street ended with solid gains on Wednesday after the
U.S. central bank's meeting minutes showed a "substantial
majority" of policymakers agreed it would "likely soon be
appropriate" to slow the pace of interest rate hikes.
    The European Central Bank will release later in the day the
minutes of its October meeting, where it raised interest rates
by 75 basis points but said "substantial" progress had already
been made in its bid to fight off a historic surge in inflation.
    Among stocks, Remy Cointreau  RCOP.PA  slipped 2.7% after
the maker of Remy Martin cognac said the second-half would
reflect a return to normal consumption trends after two years of
"exceptional growth".
    Elekta  EKTAb.ST  tumbled 5.3% after the radiation therapy
equipment maker warned that uncertain macroeconomic conditions
and supply chain issues would hurt its third-quarter margins. 
 (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil
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