Europe's stock markets fell slightly in opening trade on Thursday, after falls elsewhere and before an interest rate decision from the European Central Bank. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies dipped 0.17 percent to 6,440.47 points. Frankfurt's DAX 30 eased 0.02 percent lower to 7,912.18 points and in Paris the CAC 40 lost 0.80 percent to 3,825.82 points, as the two markets re-opened following Wednesday's public holiday. Later on Thursday, the European Central Bank, meeting in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, could cut its interest rates from current record lows and also unveil new measures to kick-start stymied bank lending, according to analysts. Asian equities slid Thursday after US stocks tumbled on weak employment and manufacturing data. Wall Street also took a knock after the Federal Reserve gave a tepid economic outlook at the close of its two-day monetary policy meeting.