European stock markets steadied on Thursday, as dealers digested the previous day's huge gains after US lawmakers agreed a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

In opening trading, London's FTSE 100 index of top companies edged 0.01 percent higher to 6,028.22 points, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 index dropped 0.21 percent to 7,762.13 points and the Paris CAC 40 shed 0.21 percent to 3,725.92.

Global stocks began 2013 with a bang on Wednesday after Washington sealed a last-minute deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of huge tax rises and spending cuts which would have pushed the United States back into recession, economists said. - Sapa-AFP