- European stocks fell on Wednesday, even as comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Tuesday fuelled expectations for further easing measures by the central bank.

During European morning trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.29%, France’s CAC 40 edged down 0.18%, while Germany’s DAX eased 0.06%.

On Tuesday, ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank was aware of the risks of persistently low inflation and was prepared to take steps to get euro zone inflation back to its target, the latest indication that the bank could ease monetary policy at its upcoming meeting next week.

The comments came a day after Draghi said the ECB is weighing a wide range of policy options, including interest rate cuts, and liquidity injections or broad-based asset purchases to help shore up the fragile recovery in the euro area.

Financial stocks were mixed, as BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) slipped 0.13% and Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) rose 0.20% in France, while Germany''s Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) edged up 0.25%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy''s Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) gained 0.20% and 0.70% respectively, while Spain''s Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) declined 0.40%.

Elsewhere, Nestle (SIX:NESN) saw shares gain 0.43% after the food company said it will expand its skincare unit in North America by paying $1.4 billion in cash for commercial rights to sell Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX) products.

Hugo Boss (XETRA:BOSSn) slid lower on the other hand, down 0.39%, after its majority shareholder Permira Advisers LLP said it is selling 3.95 million shares in the German company at €101.25.

In London, FTSE 100 slipped 0.11%, weighed by losses in Glaxosmithkline (LONDON:GSK), down 1.35%, amid reports the drugmaker''s "commercial practice" is under investigation by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office. The company has been accused in a number of countries of bribing government and hospital officials.

Mining stocks added to losses, as Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) inched down 0.02% and Fresnillo (LONDON:FRES) edged 0.14% lower, while rivals Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) and Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) slid 0.56% and 0.71% respectively.

Weir Group (LONDON:WEIR) was also on the downside, slipping 0.15%, after it abandoned its pursuit of Metso Oyj (HEL:MEO1V). The Finnish company''s management turned down an all-share offer valuing the maker of mining and construction equipment at €4.6 billion euros.

Meanwhile, financial stocks were mixed. Shares in Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) dipped 0.01% and Barclays (LONDON:BARC) tumbled 1.10%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) gained 0.47% and HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) climbed 0.80%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.08% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.05% uptick, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.07% rise.

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