London — World stock markets nudged away from six-month highs on Thursday as investors weighed warning signs over growth from major central banks and as concern over protectionism rumbled, with the dollar and euro holding steady. Sterling also traded flat after EU leaders gave Britain another six months to leave the bloc, with the latest pause in the Brexit process turning investors’ focus to the health of the British economy. European markets made a subdued start, mirroring a disappointing day for Asian bourses that broke four days of gains. European stocks fell 0.4%, with bourses in London and Frankfurt losing ground, though Paris held steady. Equities and other risky assets have been volatile this year, while bonds have rallied over worries of a recession in the US and the risk of a sharper slowdown in other major economies including the eurozone. Against that backdrop, many central banks have taken a dovish policy twist, pivoting away from moves towards interest rate hikes. The ...

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