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European stocks rise ahead of ECB rate decision

European stocks rise ahead of ECB rate decision

European stock indexes rose in early trading on Thursday, ahead of the European Central Bank interest rate decision and press conference by ECB Chief Mario Draghi.

Strong earnings reports from Roche pharmaceutical companies, AP InBev brewery and L.F.M.H. luxury goods pushed European equities higher ahead of the ECB rate decision.

As of 09:20 GMT, the Euro Stoxx 600 index was up 0.29 percent at 392.90 points. France's CAC 40 augmented 0.58 percent at 5,638.14 and Germany's DAX gained 0.08 percent at 12,531.9. Britain's FTSE 100 recovered 0.18 percent to 7,515 points.

The world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, climbed 3.7 percent after its quarterly results exceeded expectations supported by the fastest-growing beer sales in five years.

Swiss pharmaceutical maker Roche rose 1.1 percent after the company raised its full-year sales forecast, while Telecom Equipment Maker Nokia increased after announcing a surge in second-quarter earnings.

Investors are looking forward to the ECB monetary decision, amid speculation the central bank will provide further easing of monetary policy on Thursday.

The ECB may hint to a possible interest rate cuts in the upcoming months, while may restart its QE program to stimulate the euro area economy.  

The ECB will probably announce further monetary erasing ahead of next week’s Fed meeting, which may result in the first interest rate slash in a decade.

In the meantime, euro recovered its earlier losses to trade at $1.1143 after hitting a a low of $1.1121, the lowest level since May 30.

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