Shares steady on ECB decision

European stocks climbed, rebounding from yesterday's slide, while investors awaited a policy announcement by the European Central Bank.

European stocks climbed, rebounding from yesterday's slide, while investors awaited a policy announcement by the European Central Bank.

Thu, Feb 7, 2013, 00:00

The euro and shares were little changed today after the European Central Bank left rates steady at its monthly policy meeting as investors awaited president Mario Draghi's views on the region's growth outlook.

US stock futures pointed to modest gains when Wall Street opens, though market participants said much depends on whether the ECB president makes any comments on the level of the euro at a news conference due to begin at 13.30 GMT.

The euro held onto the 0.3 per cent gains made before the ECB announcement to trade around $1.3570, above this week's low of $1.3458 plumbed but well shy of a 15-month peak of $1.3711 set last Friday.

The currency of the 17-nation bloc has soared by 20 per cent against Japan's yen in just three months, risen 8 per cent on sterling and 7 per cent on the dollar, heightening tensions among policymakers.

"Draghi has to be very careful because it's a very sensitive time in currency markets, and investors will be looking for any hint of the ECB's thinking on this issue," said Ned Rumpeltin, head of G10 FX strategy at Standard Chartered Bank.

Alcatel-Lucent surged to its highest price since April after its chief executive officer stepped down.

Vodafone contributed the most to gains by a gauge of telecommunications shares after reiterating its forecast for the year through March.

Sanofi fell to its lowest price since November after saying that profit may retreat this year.

Reuters

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