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The pan-European STOXX 600 index was almost unchanged at 445.34 points in early trading, hovering just below a record high of 447.15 hit on Tuesday.

Energy stocks fell about 0.3%, tracking declines in oil prices as concerns over Indian demand and increasing Iranian supplies weighed.

But losses in the sector were offset by stronger mining stocks, which rose 0.8% on better metal prices. [O/R] [MET/L]

HSBC fell 0.2% after the lender said it was withdrawing from U.S. retail banking by selling some parts of the money-losing business and winding down others to focus on Asia, its biggest market.

German sportswear firm Puma fell 1.1% after French luxury goods group Kering (PA:PRTP) said it will sell a 5.9% stake in the firm through a share placement.

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