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European Stocks Expected to Drop Ahead of Retail Data

European shares are seen opening slightly lower on Wednesday after two days of gains prompted by big banks disclosing the extent of the impact of a credit crunch on their results.

With little diaried on the corporate front, investor focus will be on retail sales numbers from Europe and employment figures and non-manufacturing ISM from the United States.

Bookmakers see Britain's FTSE 100 down 3 points, Germany's DAX down 2 to 4 points and France's CAC-40 down 4 points to up 1 point.

Investors will also watch a Merrill Lynch conference in London for a presentation by Deutsche Bank's CEO. The German bank is under pressure to reveal the full impact of a credit crisis on its results after UBS announced a third-quarter loss and Citigroup said profits were badly hit.

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