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European stocks slipped again on a busy morning of corporate earnings on Thursday, as the market-wide positivity that followed the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday continued to fade.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.47 per cent at the open, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 fell 0.44 per cent. In Europe, France’s CAC 40 fell by 0.34 per cent and the Dax dropped 0.3 per cent.

However, Lloyds Banking Group bucked the negative trend, with shares jumping as much as 4 per cent after it announced profits had more than doubled in the first quarter.

Royal Bank of Scotland also benefited from the signs of health in the British banking sector, with shares rising 1.9 per cent.

Shares in the two FTSE 100 property groups reporting this morning also held up, with shares in Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey both up 0.7 per cent, despite the latter company being forced to apologise and set aside £130m to cover disputes over onerous leases taken out by customers.

Among other major companies reporting results this morning, shares in Airbus and AstraZeneca both slipped as revenues at the two companies declined. Airbus shares were down 1.1 per cent at publication time, while AstraZeneca’s were down 1 per cent.

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