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Europe Stocks to Start the Week Lower After Rally

European shares were set to dip on Monday, consolidating after hitting three-week highs in the previous session, with weak copper prices likely to put pressure on heavyweight mining stocks.

Britain's FTSE 100 was seen down as much as 20 points, or 0.3 percent; Germany's DAX was seen down 15 points or 0.2 percent and France's CAC 40 was seen down 20 points or 0.5 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed up 1.5 percent at 1,141.40 points on Friday, supported by strong U.S. jobs data.

Gregor Schuster | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Spain releases March unemployment figures on Monday. Euro zone PPI data for February is also due.

In the UK, the CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers release their quarterly financial services survey which provides an overview of business conditions, profitability and employment prospects in the UK financial services sector.

Later this week, investors will shift their attention to monetary policy decisions from both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.

The ECB is widely expected to raise interest rates after President Jean-Claude Trichet signaled at last month's press conference that a rate hike could come as soon as April.

The ECB wants to curb rising inflation, but some analysts fear a rate hike will hurt Europe's weak peripheral economies.

French central bank governor Christian Noyer present the Bank of France's 2010 results at a press conference Monday morning and will likely be questioned about Thursday's ECB meeting.

Contact Europe: Economy

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