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LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - European equities fell late on Thursday after U.S. shares opened lower following poor durable goods data, with Britain's FTSE 100 underperforming as the Bank of England said a rate hike was getting closer.
U.S. stock markets fell by 0.4 to 0.6 percent after data showed durable goods orders declined by 18.2 percent in August, the largest drop since the series started in 1992. Also, initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 12,000 to 293,000 for the week ended Sept. 20, below the 300,000 forecast.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.2 percent at 1,383.14 points by 1344 GMT after rising to a high of 1,391.80 earlier in the session.
The FTSE 100 was also down by 0.5 percent, impacted by comments from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney who said the central bank was getting nearer to raising interest rates, but the exact date would depend on economic data. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)